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Tom Jackson slams governance changes for conservation authorities

Tom Jackson slams governance changes for conservation authorities

Another Hamilton Conservation Authority member has criticized a government plan to remove citizen members from the boards of Conservation authorities. The proposal was first revealed in the  provincial budget released earlier this month. At present the Hamilton Conservation authority board has 11 members—five city councillors and six citizen members. In a letter to the mayor and fellow councillors, Jackson wrote, “I heard with dismay and disappointment the … announcement…it will be an absolute shame and disservice to our encouragement of Citizen engagement and participation on an august Board such as the HCA. It boggles my mind why they would even consider going down this path! With all due respect  to elected members of local Council….to have hypothetically an 11 member HCA Board of only politicians (the province) might as well make the HCA a Standing Committee of City Council. One of the treasures I have truly enjoyed over the years has been working alongside volunteer citizen appointees on any Task Force/Board/Advisory Committee, because of the blend of elected and non-elected Board members sitting at the same table, assisting in the advancement (and preservation) of that organization.” Jackson has called on council to issue a resolution protesting the governance change. Jackson joins HCA chair Lloyd Ferguson in objecting to the change. Ferguson told Bill Kelly last week that the citizen members on the HCA board bring a level of expertise and skills that add tremendous value to the board.

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  • In the article, it says the decision has something to do with the budget. I’m asking are the citizen members paid to sit on this board?

    • good question, and since I reside in Ward 6, I posed it directly to Mr. Jackson:

      Q. Are citizen appointee’s compensated for their roles as “Board Members” i.e. HCA?

      A.”No”
      He went on to say, that to the best of his knowledge, only citizen appointees on the “Police Service Board'(4 members @$9K/YR) and the “Committee of Adjustment”(9 members@$3K/YR) receive any remuneration.

  • Mr Graham, interesting info. So why are those sitting on PSB and committee of adjustments paid?

    Talk about about loading the deck without input from “ALL THE PEOPLE”.

    • I am unsure why some get paid, while others do it for “the satisfaction of serving and contributing” When you consider PSB meets “quarterly” you see that this can quickly get into some dubious territory.
      And I doubt anything will change anytime soon. Lest we forget, Fred gets about $36,000.00 a year for sitting on the Alectra Board. They meet once per year.
      It must be grueling

      I agree with the sentiments expressed here.These volunteers are important, and they need to be heard.
      I hope Mr. Jackson’s resolution has Council’s full support..

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