Kimberley City Council will continue to look into a request from the Kimberley Youth Action Network (KYAN), after a background report was submitted by Chief Financial Officer Jim Hendricks at a Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 25.
At a previous Council meeting, Lori Joe, Youth Coordinator for the Summit Community Services Society presented to City Council, alongside Mike Kent, Regional Coordinator for the Basin Youth Network, to explain KYAN’s role in the community and request that the City become the group’s legal entity.
According to the report from Hendricks, KYAN recently received notification from Summit Community Services Society, the legal entity through which they currently receive their CBT funding, that they will not be renewing their contribution agreement with CBT.
“There is a whole list of responsibilities that come along with becoming KYAN’s legal entity,” said Hendricks. “Those include keeping financial and insurance records, maintaining insurance coverage of all KYAN activities and so on.”
He adds that the City would have to create a committee and enter into a three-year contribution agreement with CBT.
Hendricks suggested that staff look into having The Kimberley Community Development Society (KCDS) take on the role of becoming KYAN’s legal entity, with support from the City. Council will need to make their decision soon, as there is a deadline for the end of June.
Councillor Darryl Oakley says that he supports KYAN’s request moving forward, and that the possibility of having KCDS on board is a good option.
Councillor Nigel Kitto disagreed, saying that it could be unfair to the other youth groups in Kimberley. He suggested that KYAN become their own legal entity.
“I don’t support this. I do support KYAN and all that they are doing, however there is a risk of favouritism. What precedent does that set for other organizations? City staff are already overworked,” said Kitto. “This is a common problem; when an organization gets to a certain size there is the need to incorporate. I would love to encourage them [KYAN] to maintain their independence.”
CAO Scott Sommerville says that Staff already has a lot of responsibilities. If the City adds this to their workload, it could put them at least one week behind, he says.
“KCDS could take this on with staff support from the City,” said Sommerville. “We could also look at the potential of a new position, hiring a Community Development Officer part time, who could help support all kinds of organizations.”
Hendricks says that although KCDS has the capacity to take this on, the financial aspects (bookkeeping etc.) could become onerous.
Mayor Don McCormick discussed the capacity of KCDS, stating that they are already lacking staff. He says that KYAN doesn’t have a lot of other options right now and that 14 of the 28 youth networks across the basin are managed by municipalities.