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Council considering association participation policy

Posted on March 15, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

The following are briefs from the March 7 regular Meeting of Coalhurst town council.

FCM Convention attendance

Mayor Lyndsay Montina proposed that she and one council member attend the upcoming Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Toronto this May. Montina said they have not attended an FCM conference since the council came into office, and she believed there was a lot of opportunities in attending the conference, such as connecting with different elected officials and gaining an understanding of municipal issues on a national scale, networking and setting up meetings with other municipalities that are undergoing innovative projects that they may want to consider bringing to Coalhurst.

The cost to attend, including registration, flight, accommodation conference events and incidentals such as ground transportation and meals, would be budgeted at $4,000 per person.

Coun. Heather Caldwell noted FCM has increased its interest in smaller municipalities in recent years, and as it was an important source of funding for the Town, it would be good to attend. Coun. Jesse Potrie agreed.

Noting the price tag, Scott Akkermans asked if they could just send one person this time, to get the “lay of the land”. Caldwell disagreed, as the size and scope of the conference would make it very hard for one person to get the most out of it. Coun. Deborah Florence argued against going, noting the price tag, as she did not believe they would get enough value for the high cost. Moving forward, she would like to see a strategic plan for what conferences they would attend.

Council passed a motion that Mayor Montina and one councillor be approved to attend the 2023 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Convention, in a split 3-2 vote, with Akkermans and Florence voting against.

Participation in Associations Policy

Montina said that council should have a plan in place on their participation in the various associations they are part of, in order to better leverage their membership. A new policy would need to be created, but the idea is that once in place, it would be an annual plan that considers the strategic plan’s priorities to ensure they are best benefiting the town moving forward.

Florence said it was a “very important policy to develop”.

Potrie questioned how the policy would consider overlap in association priorities, citing Highway 3 Twinning. Akkermans noted they should have a list of associations in the region and what they do, noting that as they can’t be part of everything, it would be good to know which ones align with their strategic priorities.

Council unanimously passed a motion to direct the CAO to draft a participation in associations policy and further, the draft policy be forwarded to the Policy, Bylaw and Risk Review committee by May 15, 2023.

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