The council liaison position with the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness (OTFH), a group formed by Mayor Ed Mayne in 2010, has been withdrawn.
At a July 3 regular council meeting, Mayne said he has become aware of some members of the task force directing anger and frustration about council’s decision making and policy platforms at the appointed liaison, Coun. Adam Fras.
“The purpose of the liaison is to share information between the group and members of council. Councillors in a liaison role are owed a certain level of respect as individuals volunteering their time and also due to their status as duly elected members of council,” Mayne said. “It is not appropriate for elected officials to be attacked verbally in meetings or subject to constant complaints about council decisions.”
Mayne said the city is working closely with BC Housing in building strong partnerships on housing an social initiatives.
Mayne formed the task force when he was firsrt serving as mayor of Parksville in 2010, to address a growing homeless population and to establish housing for the less fortunate.
According to an emailed statement from the the OTFH, they will continue to move forward with providing locally based co-ordination, collaboration and action on the issue of homelessness.
“It is unfortunate that the Parksville city council made the decision not to continue the liaison position with the OTFH given that mayor Mayne originally established the task force during his first mayorship in 2010, and since then the city councils have been very supportive of the work of the task force,” reads the statement.
The group said it’s proud to have established a supportive housing development at Orca Place with the support of provincial and municipal governments. Currently the task force is focused on establishing a cold-weather shelter in the area as it was removed from Orca Place by agreement between the city and BC Housing, which continues to support the operations of the shelter and is participating in the process.
Task force officials say they remain eager to hear from community collaborators interested in partnering to provide a location for this shelter.