Prioritization Rather than Bottlenecks 

Results Matter! 

The initial focus of the Local Community Commission (LCC) will be upon organizing itself, learning about the services for which it is responsible and, too soon, focusing much effort on the 2024 budget. 

Despite all these fundamental responsibilities, a key role of the LCC will be to prioritize the many CRD projects. The long delay getting HarbourWalk designs is a perfect example of community frustration with prioritization practices. We can do better. . . .

As the LCC prioritizes projects, I suggest placing these projects in one of three categories: 

Projects completed by consultants require markedly less staff time than those managed and operated by staff. While a Request for Proposal (RFP) is required for each of these projects, once there is clarity about what must be accomplished, RFPs are largely boilerplate. Once they are released and then awarded, staff responsibility is simply to monitor progress. Important? Yes. Extremely time consuming: seldom, unless things go awry. We are paying significant tax dollars to consultants to complete these projects. If they are requiring an inordinate amount of CRD staff time, something is wrong. 

Is this important? You bet! Beyond the frustration of long-delayed projects like the HarbourWalk, we are losing money: Without shovel-ready design plans for sidewalks and pathways, we cannot apply for the lucrative infrastructure grants, potentially losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. 

It is my hope that the LCC will not confuse CRD staff operational responsibilities with projects being done by consultants - and get those paid projects out the door! 

We have amazing nonprofits who would love to partner to complete projects. They would like to take the lead with pathways, beautification efforts, bus shelters. . .and the list goes on. In a logical world, CRD could give these energetic volunteer groups some simple guidelines and cheer them on to do what they love. Unfortunately, requirements for these nonprofits have become more and more complex, resulting in frustrated nonprofits and tired CRD staff - exhausted by trying to get volunteers to adhere to a daunting number of rules and requirements. 

Many enthusiastic volunteers are disheartened and staff admit that getting volunteers to adhere to complicated rules is more work than doing it themselves. 

There is something wrong here, yes? 

In my opinion, we need a hard look at the increasingly-bureaucratic requirements now required for volunteer groups to contribute their skills to projects. I suspect that, with goodwill on both sides, we could welcome our amazing volunteers to do what they do best without unnecessary CRD hurtles. In a more perfect world, volunteers would get a great deal accomplished, and CRD staff would be freer to focus their energies on the projects requiring their attention. 

Your will probably say, It is not that simple. You are correct. But, recognizing that some CRD priorities require an enormous amount of staff time, why not figure a better way to get those consultant and volunteer projects done simultaneously?