Last week + Organizational Meeting + Regular Council Meeting November 4,2019
Intermunicipal Affairs Committee Meeting: All of Council joined our counterparts from Sturgeon County for our regular meeting about issues that impact both municipalities/regions.
Budget World Café: Thank you to all the randomly-selected residents who volunteered to join Council to learn more about the 2020 budget and give feedback about both the budget and our priorities. It’s refreshing to hear about what our residents love about our community and how we do business, and also about how we can do better. An open call for feedback is also ongoing until November 8th - Please check out the Proposed Budget Input Webpage to provide your thoughts about our priorities and to comment on the comments'/suggestions of other residents.
Coffee With Council - Budget Edition: The Mayor’s ‘Coffee With Cathy’ live chat was expanded with an invite to all of Council to join her for a discussion about the proposed 2020 budget. Highlights of the chat include the financial impact of the provincial budget, proposed municipal utility corporation, the proposed community amenities sites, and the Kingswood and Mission expropriations. Thanks to all who watched and asked questions!
Every year, Council has to set its schedule for the following year. Proposed organizational highlights include:
Council meetings are scheduled approximately twice per month starting at 2pm. In July and August, there would only be one meeting scheduled, and in March and June there would be three.
Committee meetings are scheduled once per month in the Douglas Cardinal Boardroom, at 10am and 1:30pm respectively, except in August.
Councillors Hughes, MacKay and I would sit on the “Community Living Standing Committee” and Councillors Watkins, Hansen, and Brodhead would sit on the “Community Growth and Infrastructure Committee”.
Regular Meeting Highlights
FCSS Program Funding Allocations
FCSS funding is a provincial-municipal partnership providing funding “for eligible… not-for-profit community organizations for the delivery of preventative social services to the community”. Municipal funding is technically 20% of this grant, but we have been exceeding our portion for years - We have also not had confirmation of the province’s commitment past the 2019/20, so it’s unclear how this will impact funding when the next provincial budget is tabled in early spring of next year. The Community Services Advisory Committee (CSAC) is recommending the following allocations:
$ 62,257 to St. Albert Community Village and Food Bank Society
$198,191 to St. Albert Family Resource Centre
$ 75,376 to St. Albert Seniors Association
$ 75,310 to St Albert Stop Abuse in Families Society
The CSAC has also recommended that the Community Information Volunteer Centre not receive funding (they received almost $200,000 in 2019).
Outside Agency Operating Grant Program Grant Allocations
The Outside Agency Grant is to support no-for-profits in St. Albert. These grants are often in addition to other municipal supports through grants (FCSS, Community Events, Community Capital, subsidized lease costs, etc.).
The Community Services Advisory Committee is recommending the following allocations:
St. Albert Bereavement Fellowship: $8,000
St. Albert Housing Association: $44,650
St. Albert Seniors Association: $239,617
St. Albert Victim Services: $66,402
St. Albert Community Village & Food Bank: $90,707
Stop Abuse in Families: $36,000
St. Albert Family Resource Centre: $47,785
Visual Arts Studio Association: $28,488
St. Albert & District Further Education: $23,474
Michif Cultural Connections: $9,615
Integrity Commissioner Annual Report
After the excitement of last term that culminated in a provincial inspection of Council, an integrity commissioner was appointed on retained to investigate complaints against Council should they arise.
“It has been a quiet year with no formal code of conduct complaints received or investigated.”
Recommendations included in the report:
“That City Council undertake a 2019 self-evaluation in accordance with the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw No. 38/2017… <and;>
That City Council consider amending the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw… <and Integrity Commissioner Bylaw>, to allow additional reporting to Council at the discretion of the Integrity Commissioner… <and> to limit the anonymity of a Council member Complainant, except in exceptional circumstances… <and> to expand the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner to include assisting with informal complaints upon request.”
Governance Restructuring Bylaws
These are all the bylaws required to finalize the decisions of Council last month regarding the structure of our meetings. There may be a few amendments proposed to these, but I’m not expecting anything significant because of the extensive debate that we’ve already had on these changes.
This is a brief and incomplete overview of our meetings, with my personal comments sprinkled in - In no way are my opinions representative of the official direction of council or the City of St. Albert. Please let me know of any typos or errors. As always, I also encourage everyone who is able to tune in the the live-stream of the meeting (3pm here) or attend in-person (3rd floor of St. Albert Place, hang a right getting out of the elevator). You can also register to speak if you have information to present to council. Full agenda packages can be found on the stalbert.ca website.