City Council is introducing a new way for residents to get involved in municipal government with the launch of the City's first Citizens' Assembly. The Assembly will be comprised of volunteer members who will explore whether Lethbridge City Councillors should continue to serve on a part-time basis or whether they should fulfill their role full-time.
This week, 5000 randomly selected households across Lethbridge will receive a package inviting them to participate as an Assembly member. The 36 member Assembly will be selected from all those who respond to the invitation. The City of Lethbridge has retained a team of independent experts to manage and lead this process. Working with this team over a one month period, the Assembly will learn about Councillors' employment and compensation, consider a range of perspectives, and ultimately provide recommendations back to council.
"This is a really great way to get more people interested and engaged in decisions that will impact their community," says Councillor Bridget Mearns who presented the official business resolution to establish the Citizens' Assembly. "If you receive a package in the mail I encourage you to consider this unique opportunity."
In order to serve on the Assembly, participants must receive an invitation package in the mail, be a Lethbridge resident aged 18 or over and commit to participating in three, day-long sessions. The Assembly will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on September 10, September 24 and October 8.
All Lethbridge residents will have an opportunity to provide feedback into the Citizens' Assembly by attending a public roundtable session to be held on October 6, 2016 at 6:30 in the City Hall foyer. At this meeting, residents will learn about the progress of the Assembly and have a chance to share their views.
With a population of 96,858 people, Lethbridge is the fourth largest city in Alberta. Over the past five years, the City's population has increased by over 10 per cent. Eight part-time Councillors and a full-time Mayor make up Lethbridge City Council and represent all residents. They are elected every four years.
Changing the commitment required of Councillors and how much they are paid may affect who chooses to run for Council and how much time Councillors have to participate in City business. This is a decision with far reaching implications and the perspectives of local residents is important.
For more information on the Citizens' Assembly, visit www.lethbridge.ca/assembly.
Aleta Neufeld, City Clerk
Office: 403-320-4083 | Cell: 403-315-9440 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Grindle, Communications Consultant
Phone: 403-320-3910 | Cell: 403-360-0984 | email@example.com