UBCM resolution B94-2013 – Four-year terms

Union of British Columbia Municipalities 2013
Resolution B94 – CIVIC ELECTION TERM LENGTH IN BC

CityHallWatch note – This resolution, adopted, calls for the UBCM to ask the provincial government to increase the interval between civic elections from three years to four years, and that legislation be passed to do so in time for the 2014 election. This resolution is highly problematic. Citizens need to have frequent opportunities to hold their officials accountable. The frequency should not be reduced, especially without caps on political donations and campaign expenditures.

This resolution was endorsed as amended (see below)
Sponsor: LMLGA Executive
Source: http://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/resolutions/resolutions/resolutions-responses.html (see 2013 UBCM Resolutions [PDF – 1.2 MB] for text of resolution and 2013 Resolutions Disposition [PDF – 127 KB] for outcome/amendment)

WHEREAS many provinces, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, PEI and New Brunswick, have four-year civic election terms, a term length which reflects the accepted period between elections in the provincial and federal contexts;

AND WHEREAS the 2013 provincial election highlighted a number of issues with regard to local government elected officials running and being elected to the provincial legislature and the lack of legislative direction to avoid governance conflicts, expensive by-elections, long absences on council and boards and the double dipping of salaries;

AND WHEREAS four-year election terms would likely be more productive for councils and staff and would save taxpayer money:

[ORIGINAL TEXT: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM ask the provincial government to increase the interval between civic elections from three years to four years….]

NOTE – THIS LAST LINE WAS AMENDED TO SAY…

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM ask the provincial government to increase the interval between civic elections from three years to four years, and that legislation be passed to do so in time for the 2014 election.

***********

COMMENTS FROM RELATED ORGANIZATIONS:

NOT PRESENTED TO THE LOWER MAINLAND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION

UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: Not Endorse

UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS:

The Resolutions Committee notes that the UBCM membership considered but did not endorse resolution 2010-A2, which called on the provincial government to extend the term of office for local government elected officials to four years.

Prior to 2010, members considered resolutions about the length of local government elected officials’ term of office on four separate occasions.

In 2007 members endorsed resolution B95, which requested the provincial government to “increase the interval between civic elections from three years to four years.” However, in the previous year, 2006, members considered resolution A9 with the same wording, but did not endorse the resolution.

Members considered but did not endorse resolution 2003-B52, which called on the Province to amend the Local Government Act to enable individual local governments to choose between a two-year staggered and a three year all-at-once term.

In 1986 the UBCM membership endorsed resolution 1986-A1, calling for a three-year term for local government elected officials – triennial elections – but with the provision that individual local governments could hold annual elections if requested by their residents.

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