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Bighorn potentially looking to streamline boards, committees

“I think it is one that had been proposed to be removed previously but with our new council at the table, we decided not to remove ourselves from it. We wanted to find out more information about it, and I don’t think we ever did.”
MD of Bighorn building winter 1
The MD of Bighorn administration building in Exshaw. RMO FILE PHOTO

MD OF BIGHORN – Bighorn council could be looking to make potential changes to its committees.

Council asked the Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) to appear as delegates to provide council with information before making a decision, while the Municipal Excellence Committee (MEC) will be reviewed in the fall prior to the annual organizational meeting that decides on appointment.

Reeve Lisa Rosvold said MEC has a human resources function, which looks at staff remuneration reviews, awards and recognition and resident surveys.

“That is purely HR policy,” Rosvold said. “I think moving forward, things like salary reviews, resident surveys, the events, awards, those are all things administration has a full capacity to do.

“We can finish the conversations we started with municipal excellence.”

Rosvold suggested CRAZ come to council to provide the five members with more information before rendering a decision on the MD’s role in the group.

“We can invite them to be a delegation and we can get a better understanding of what they do and how it benefits the MD,” Rosvold said. “From there we can make a decision.”

Coun. Rick Tuza said while not having taken part in meetings, he has had conversations with its members who pass information to Bighorn.

“It seems to be Calgary-focused. They do have a monitoring station in this vicinity.”

CRAZ meets once a year and MEC meets monthly.

In addition to the two committees municipal administration recommended deleting, they also asked council to review the effectiveness of five committees, groups and associations in the MD of Bighorn.

Bighorn administration raised concerns to council about the effectiveness of the MD’s participation in the Bighorn Corridor Environment Committee (BCEC), Bow Corridor Ecosystem Advisory Group (BCEAG), Bow River Basin Council (BRBC), Spray Lakes Sawmills Public Advisory Group (SLSPAG) and the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA).

“Annually, council reviews and/or appoints members of council and public members to boards, committees and commissions,” the staff report stated. “This annual review should also include the effectiveness and benefit of the boards, committees and commissions for sound governance of the MD of Bighorn.”

At the Feb. 28 Governance and Priorities Committee, it was requested information be provided on each board, committee and commission. Administration responded it did not have the resources to provide the requested information due to time constraints.

BCEC, BRBC and BCEAG all meet quarterly, while the SLSPAG meets three times per year and SAEWA meets bi-monthly.

Administration said they were only in the discussion stage and had not yet contacted any of the five committees.

Council chose to keep the BCEC the way it is due to the benefit committee members receive from having councillors on the BCEC as it started as a committee for industry and community members only.

“At the last BCEC meeting, Coun. Joss Elford asked the members if it was worthwhile that was a council committee,” Coun. Jen Smith said. “Every member spoke of how valuable having council is, and having it as a council committee. They all took huge value and pride in bringing forward the information.”

Rosvold suggested for BCEAG it be followed up to see if it was still active.

“I think it is one that had been proposed to be removed previously but with our new council at the table, we decided not to remove ourselves from it,” Rosvold said. “We wanted to find out more information about it, and I don’t think we ever did.”

Regarding the SAEWA board, Tuza said it was an active board that should continue to be monitored.

SAEWA was established in 2009 with the aim of creating sustainable waste management practices to help become more efficient with resources and be environmentally impactful for the region. The group is comprised of 60 municipalities in rural areas of southern Alberta.

In 2020, the County of Newell, where Brooks is located, was selected as the site for the facility out of 11 sites. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by seven million tonnes throughout the project’s lifespan.

“They got the location. They got the company that is going to build the facility,” Tuza said. “I think we can hold on just a little longer to see if the MD will be part of it.”

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