Council was called to order by Mayor Decoux at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6th. Here are some of the highlights.
The two new Peace Officers in the municipality, Sergeant Stephen Jordan-Zerr and Vincent Duguay, who were recently hired by administration, attended the council meeting and formerly gave their introductions to Council. Board directors from the Ratepayers Association, including President Bill Kovach were also in attendance.
Administrative and Agency Reports
CAO Myron Thompson announced to Council that he recently met with Pat Steir to discuss recent and coming changes to the municipality. The manufacturing company who has a strong potential for locating here has recently reported that they consider Crowsnest Pass as a top option. Thompson reported that the Capitol Works Program is well underway and there are currently three groups assigned to the project. Plans are also underway for the Bellevue cemetery expansion. Completion for the project is expected in mid November. A major amount of data has been submitted to the consultant who is working on Regional Partnership Feasibility Study. Interviewing will be taking place next week and the week after. A start up meeting for the branding initiative was held two week ago, on Aug 30th. Documents have been collected by a consultant and interviews of community stakeholders will take place in the near future. A new fire chief, Steve Munshaw, was hired by administration, and will be commencing duties on September 17th. The Community Peace Officer Program is now fully underway. Administration is very pleased with the work that has been done by the program so far.
Council Minutes were brought forward to establish the meeting dates for the fourth quarter of the year. GPC meetings will still be held on the first Tuesday of every month, however, the times of the meetings received some debate between Councillors. “I have an issue with this set up. I would like to know when we will have some budget planning meetings,” said Councillor Emile Saindon said. Myron Thompson said that at the first meeting in October we will discuss these meetings.
“The schedule for the budget isn’t as much of a priority as the outline. I get to sit down to a budget that makes sense, and provide Council with similar outlines, as we were given from the Lethbridge advisor. I’d like to see that we may get back to a place where a Municipal Budget process makes sense,” said Councillor Andrew Saje.
“I wonder if instead of adding meetings to the schedule on a regular basis, if we could arrange to just have half day or full day meetings to just discuss those things,” said Councillor Jerry Lonsbury.
“Preparing agendas detracts from the work [Administration] have to get done, and right now they are seriously overloaded,” said Mayor Decoux. “May I suggest that in order to have more time to deal with plan items, rather than having an extra meeting, we simply move the GPC meetings back one hour, and identify that one hour for strategic plan items.”
Larry Mitchell moved the motion to change the time for GPC meetings from 3 p.m. to 2 p.m. for the months of October, November and December. The motion was carried.
Safety Codes Services Bylaw
Council was to give first reading to Bylaw No. 843, Safety Codes Services fee Bylaw for the purpose of amending fees for safety codes services. During the 2012-2014 triennial budget process, permit fees were reviewed for all the Quality Management Plan disciplines for which the municipality is certified- Building, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire. Changes that were provided through the budget process were a collaborative initiative between Finance and Corporative Services and Planning, Engineering and Operations and are now being brought forward for enactment through bylaw.
“I don’t think this is a good initiative. 20 years ago the population of the Pass was considerably larger than it is today, so I don’t see the rationale behind this,” said Councillor Andrew Saje. “Any decision that Council makes that may affect the economy, especially if it is negative, requires something called the risk assessment. Since that hasn’t been done in this package, means it is incomplete. I will not be voting for it.”
Councillor Jerry Lonsbury moved the first reading. The motion was carried.