Red Arrow
Tuesday October 18th, 2011  
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   Volume 81 - Issue 42   email:   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"The facts are that the world is changing and we have to change with it or get left behind."
- Mayor Bruce Decoux  


The issue of municipal advertising in local media was back on the table at the October 11th Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, after Administration asked for Council’s direction in rewriting the municipal advertising policy.
Interim Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Robins asked Council to express their wishes and concerns on the matter.
“It has come to our attention that we have spent almost half a million dollars in advertising over the last several years,” said Robins. “We need to get that in check.”
According to Robins, as verified by Director of Finance and Systems Marion Vanoni, the municipality has spent approximately $500,000 on municipal ads in the two local newspapers over the past seven years.
Robins suggested that in order to rope in spending in this area, Council consider setting a fixed rate with both papers for a full page ad to run every two weeks, to consider advertising in only one paper and asking for bids on the lowest advertising rates or to communicate other ideas they may have.
“We are looking for direction from Council as to the desired avenue so we can go ahead and write the policy,” said Robins.
Robins also informed Council that Administration is preparing a resolution to be brought forth by Mayor Bruce Decoux to the regional Mayors and Reeves caucus, which will then be presented to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) and Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC), before being delivered to Alberta Municipal Affairs (AMA).
The resolution will include a proposed amendment to the Municipal Government Act to allow municipalities to advertise through social media (sites such as Facebook and Twitter) and on municipal websites, instead of the current clause which dictates that all regulatory advertisements and notices of development must run in at least one newspaper.

Mayor Decoux noted that this is an outcome desired by several municipal governing bodies.
Councillor Brian Gallant said he would prefer to advertise all MGA-stipulated information in the local papers, while also letting readers know that additional information can be found on the municipal website.
Council and Administration noted that some residents do not have access to online content, or do not possess the technical knowledge necessary to access the information.
Councillor Andrew Saje noted that in smaller communities in the United States and Europe, teleprompters are often set up at post offices and other public venues, running ads and other content which informs people without access to the internet of such content.
Mayor Decoux said it is important for Council to transition into online content, stating that roughly $400,000 of the cost of advertising over the past seven years could have been saved if online resources were utilized and only mandatory regulatory ads were placed in print media.
“Regular advertising has become redundant,” said Mayor Decoux.
“We have to face the facts, and the facts are that the world is changing,” he said.
“We have to change with it or get left behind.”
Councillor Jerry Lonsbury suggested distributing a questionnaire to every home in the Crowsnest Pass in order to determine who has access to the Internet, who has newspaper subscriptions – both singular and overlapping – and other pertinent information.
Robins said Administration would look into undertaking a door-to-door campaign in the spring, as opposed to a paper survey which many residents may not respond to.
“It would help spread information and ask pertinent questions that will assist us in providing services to the public,” said Robins.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 42   email:   $1.00   
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