Two interest groups are losing their full City committee status and are instead joining two others to become subcommittees under social planning.
To make up for the change, council is looking at adding a second councillor liaison to the social planning council.
But the whole plan was tabled Tuesday after council decided it should consult with its social planning council first.
City parks, culture and recreation director Byron McCorkell said the four subcommittees appointed to work with social planning are youth/children and families; seniors; diversity and people with disabilities.
Previously, there had been a mayor’s task force on people with disabilities and a diversity advisory committee.
Councillors are usually assigned to be liaisons on committees, but not subcommittees.
Coun. Nancy Bepple opposed what she saw as downgrading of the mayor’s task force on people with disabilities.
“I think it would be in our interest to have council representation for the foreseeable future to help those committees move forward,” she said.
Mayor Peter Milobar pointed out that council had discussed the subcommittees at a workshop and agreed to the changes.
“They do good work, but things have changed. The subcommittees are doing good work in conjunction with social planning,” he said.
Coun. Marg Spina also spoke against the creation of the subcommittees.
“These are four groups, each with their own concerns. Seniors feel disenfranchised by council sometimes. And youth and children are a huge concern in our community,” she said.
Coun. Donovan Cavers, who sits on the social planning council, agreed with Spina and Bepple. He felt council representation on the subcommittees would show they felt the groups were valued in the community.
“If anything, I'd like to elevate these subcommittees to the regular committee level,” he said.
Coun. Tina Lange disagreed, saying council’s role is to make policy.
“To get to the nitty gritty working level of a committee is not where we're serving the electorate the best way.”
Her views were supported by councillors Ken Christian and Pat Wallace.
Those three and Milobar were in favour of the subcommittees, while Bepple, Spina, Cavers and Coun. Arjun Singh were opposed.
It came down to Coun. Nelly Dever.
“We're here to implement policy and I think that is where our role and responsibility sits. It would be great to be available to every committee and subcommittee out there. But that's what staff are for. There’s nothing stopping any councillor from going to these meetings at any point in time,” she said.
With the subcommittee motion going forward, Cavers then brought forward the idea of two council representatives sitting on social planning. It was tabled to get feedback from that council first.