Updates from City Council’s Organizational Meeting
Changes to the Standing Policy Committees (SPC) will begin this week and the 2024 Council and SPC meeting calendar is set.
At its annual Organizational Meeting on Tuesday, Lethbridge City Council also voted to confirm administration appointments to its Boards, Commissions and Committees (BCC), as well as to officially rescind the Ward Boundary Commission Bylaw.
“Our annual Organizational Meeting allows City Council the opportunity to review processes and make changes as necessary to set up for the following year,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “This month also marks the midway point of this 2021-2025 Lethbridge City Council term. I want to express a deep appreciation and thank you to my fellow members of Council as we all know it is not an easy position to hold. I am proud of what this Council have accomplished thus far and I’m excited for the next two years.”
Council’s SPC model allows our local government to look at issues throughout the city with a focused lens, providing Council an increased period of deliberation, which includes public participation. SPCs are permanent committees that report to City Council. In addition to the SPC structure, Council relies on the input of various BCCs on matters within their mandate. If a BCC is reporting to Council, they will report through an SPC dependent upon the matter that they are bringing forward.
Based on a re-evaluation suggestion from the Governance SPC, the following changes to SPCs will take effect starting November 1, 2023:
- Civic Works SPC becomes Assets and Infrastructure SPC
- Cultural and Social SPC becomes Safety and Social SPC
- Economic SPC becomes Economic and Finance SPC
- Governance SPC and Audit SPC to remain the same. Audit SPC will have meetings reduced to four times per year, with the option of adding more if needed
- Advocacy SPC has been transferred into Governance SPC
“These changes will help streamline our SPC process and will continue to offer various ways for public participation,” says City Councillor Belinda Crowson. “There will be fewer SPCs, but they will have a more defined focus and schedule.”
The Committee Reporting Structure will be updated and any matters that are currently ongoing will be assigned to the most relevant new Committee.
These SPC changes also led to several revisions to remaining 2023 Council and SPC Calendar:
- November 1, 2023 – Audit SPC deleted
- November 2, 2023 – Civic Works SPC deleted
- November 9, 2023 – Community Safety SPC deleted
- December 14, 2023 – Community Safety SPC deleted, Safety and Social SPC meeting added
SPC agendas will continue to be publicly available one week in advance at https://agendas.lethbridge.ca/AgendaOnline/. Individual meeting agendas list information for the extensive public participation opportunities.
Meeting calendar for 2024
Adoption and publication of the 2024 Council and Standing Policy Committee Calendar assists with planning and scheduling and ensures an efficient and transparent notification process for the public, which meets legislated requirements. With approval and posting on the website of the 2024 Council and SPC Meeting Calendar, the public will have notice of regularly scheduled meetings for 2024.
The following members of Administration have been appointed to the following Committees for a one-year term, effective January 1, 2024: Travis Grindle, Recreation Services Manager, to the Combative Sports Commission; Darwin Juell, General Manager, Transportation, to the Cor Van Raay LINK Pathway Committee; and Doug Kaupp, General Manager, Water & Wastewater, to the Oldman Watershed Council. Council member appointments will be updated here.
“The appointment of members of Administration to BCCs provides subject matter expertise and promotes collaboration and collective decision-making with Council and public members, ensuring that residents, communities and customers of the City are better served,” says Ryan Westerson, Legislative Services Manager.
At the conclusion of the Organizational Meeting, the new BCC Public Member Appointments were read aloud and shared publicly. They will be added to the website soon.
These positions will take effect on January 1, 2024. Earlier this year, City Council adopted a policy for honorariums for the public member volunteers serving on BCCs. More information is here. Watch the ‘Bring Out The Best In Our City’ video here.
Official rescindment of Ward Boundary Commission Bylaw
With all three readings Tuesday, City Council now has Bylaw confirmation for the cancellation of Ward Commission Bylaw 6374. On December 13, 2022, Council voted to rescind its previous decision of June 7, 2022, to examine the current process used to elect members of Council and research alternatives. At the 2021 Municipal Election, 55.69 per cent of those who cast votes marked in favour of the non-binding question: “Do you support using a ward system to elect city councillors (other than the Mayor) starting with the 2025 Municipal Election?”