I decided to attend my first official CRD meeting this morning. I had been once before in 2014 when sewage had been on the table, and all I remember was that I kept yelling at then Director Fortin to use his mic. I was a bit better behaved today but only because I was sitting at their media table that also doubles as an agenda holding table. So what was on today?
From what I understand, it was a meeting to discuss feedback received to date on the regional sustainability strategy (RSS) and provide direction to staff for how to move forward. It began with 2 people who made 10 minute presentations and then 17 people who made 4 minute presentations. Staff then started in on a presentation with 7 key issues which Directors were then invited to discuss item by item.
This made sense but soon go redirected because Director Isitt from the City of Victoria, doesn’t know how to speak only when given permission to speak by the Chair. He kept trying to direct things and came across rather disrespectful to other Directors and to staff. And staff for their part appeared to be very direct, professional, receptive and respectful of the Board. That said, I don’t think any of the Directors were really clear on what they were supposed to accomplish today.
All and all, sounds like lots of changes to the draft RSS.
Some general comments about today
I really dislike how information is organized within the CRD website – you seem to find different little bits about the same thing in various places. This is not a good website strategy.
In particular, if you have a page that lists all your board and committee meetings on a pop up calendar, that calendar needs to link to the actual meeting materials (the city’s even does). I kept getting frustrated by the CRD setup because you have to keep clicking through at various places.
Here is the actual place where you find agendas & video.
And then once you get to the actual agenda page (such as today’s) for a given meeting, what it is is a pdf with hyperlinks. Something I then discovered was that I couldn’t access the links on my IPAD until I updated my IOS – I was one update behind which shouldn’t have totally impaired the agenda’s functionality. But it did.
Once I got that all squared away and clicked through for instance on the Regional Sustainability Strategy document link I got taken to a whole other page (away from the agenda pdf) on a whole other template interface with all sorts of distracting information. I do not like this set up because its confusing and distracting.
All agenda items in my opinion, should be linked from the main agenda page like they are for the City of Victoria meetings – who doesn’t even have the best system I must say.
All and all, I am not a fan of the Granicus full agenda management webcasting system which is used by both the CRD and Esquimalt.
One final thing that’s annoying about the granicus system as set up by the CRD is that clicking on any particular agenda item requires you to download any attachment you want to view – opening attachments in a new tab does not appear to be an option. This is a pain and I wonder what the Directors do to get around the system limitations? Or do they all just get paper agendas like below?
Lastly, the speakers and microphone set up in the CRD boardroom is totally off. There was high frequency buzzing and the sound balance is definitely off kilter and should be fixed.
Comfy seats in the CRD boardroom with a nice view though!