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New Coalhurst PDCC policy approved, amended

Posted on June 15, 2023 by Sunny South News

By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News

Coalhurst councillors have a new policy on participating in continuing education and professional development opportunities.

During their regular June 6 meeting, Coalhurst town council discussed a new policy on professional development, conference and convention attendance.

Council had previously passed a motion to defer their Professional Development Policy to the Policy, Bylaw, Risk Review Committee to amend the policy at their regular April 18 meeting.

The Professional Development, Conference, and Convention Policy includes revisions to sections 2, 3.2 and 4. The amendments are:

• Removing the sentence “This policy does not apply to mandatory Council training or onboarding sessions related to Council Orientation or the Organizational Meeting of Council” from section 2, Scope.

• Amending section 3.2, Conferences and Conventions, to include: “Council recognizes that conference and convention attendance can include both professional development and networking opportunities. (b) Council shall annually determine attendance requirements and attendance assignments at conferences or conventions pursuant to a discussion of Council regarding the conferences and conventions that: are routinely available to Council; may require additional travel arrangements and expenses; involve intergovernmental networking and advocating; and/or, involve strategic planning according to Council’s Strategic Plan”.

• Removing the sentence “Non-Mandatory Professional Development: any professional development course or activity that is not required as per the Council orientation sessions and as recommended by the CAO” from section 4, Definitions.

Following the initial approval, Mayor Lyndsay Montina asked that council amend the policy in order to carry over their unused allocations to the next year as part of the Legislative Services Reserve, noting in discussions with councillors from other municipalities, they said they had to plan out what conferences they could attend throughout their entire four-year term.

“I was just thinking, if we get our set amount for the year, it’ll be nice if we could roll over so you could actually plan for whatever it is you would like to attend within your term,” said Montina, noting when she brought it up there had been some discussion among administration over putting it in a reserve account for future years in the term. “The way I envisioned it is after your four years, you’re done, right? Even if you’re back again, it doesn’t keep on rolling over. That’s your allocation for those four years.”

When asked, town CAO Shawn Patience said they would have to create a reserve for it. He also noted that as the policy “had been around the block a few times” administration wanted to get it approved first before amending it further.

“It’s a bit unique, but it certainly can be done, and certainly makes (some) sense,” said Patience.

Council passed a motion to approve the Professional Development, Conference, and Convention Policy of Council as presented.

Council passed a motion to direct the CAO to amend the Professional Development, Conference, and Convention Policy to include provisions for carrying over unused individual council member yearly allocations to the next budget year as part of the Legislative Services Reserve, to include the provision within section 5, Procedure of the policy, and further that council approve the Professional Development, Conference, and Convention Policy of Council as amended.

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