Saturday, December 2, 2017


 A very successful Annual General Meeting was held on November 9, 2017 with 42 attendees. Executive and Board Members for the next year will be: President—Marianne Cole; Vice President--- Dan Warkentin; Secretary--- Susan Durand; Treasurer--- Pat Butler; Board Members: Trish Bingham, Jim Foesier, Al Gaetz, Ken Qually, and Larry Titford. Our MLA Jason Nixon was the guest speaker and did an excellent job addressing happenings in the Legislature and people’s concerns, most notably crime issues and Bill 24 re school/parent communications.

2. CAO Change
 Following special council meetings on November 2 and 3, Ron Leaf resigned as the Chief Administrative Officer for the County. Rick Emmons was then appointed as acting CAO and was affirmed as the Interim CAO at Council’s meeting on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

3. Winter Gravel
 Councillors have received a request from Public Works for information as to where they feel winter gravelling is needed in their divisions. A couple councillors expressed a desire to gather information from residents as to where this might be necessary or beneficial. I said I would put it out in our newsletter and encourage any of you with thoughts on this to contact your councillor.

4. County Council Meeting Highlights, November 28, 2017

Bylaw Reviews/Changes
 Discussion took place on both the Meetings Procedures and Code of Conduct bylaws. Meaningful changes to the Meetings Procedures Bylaws proposed earlier release of the council agenda package with the agenda coming out on Wednesday prior to council meeting rather than Friday. As for the Code of Conduct Bylaws the changes focussed on reporting issues with councillors to the reeve or deputy reeve rather than the CAO.

Live Video Feed of Council Meetings
This idea was brought forward during the election campaign as a method of increasing transparency. An initial estimate of cost for such a system was $75,000, but council asked that more information be gathered not only on various systems but also other ideas to promote transparency.

Rocky and District Chamber of Commerce Request for Funding
President Colleen Dwyer and Executive Director Prab Lashar attended council meeting again to present further information on their operation as well as reiterate their earlier request for financial assistance. They mentioned the various community events they organize/promote and their benefit to the area’s economy. They highlighted their recent hosting of CBC who was doing a special documentary on the Duvernay geological area (the eastern slopes of the Rockies). We will try to notify you when this documentary will be aired.

Concerns from councillors were voiced about the ways the Chamber might ensure future financial stability and a cooperative coordination of promoting the economy with other groups such as Ignite Rocky and the Caroline Chamber of Commerce. In the end Council voted to provide the Chamber with a $30,000 grant.  

Broadband/internet Discussions
 Tracy With from Banister Research presented an excellent report on the broadband survey that Banister had conducted with both businesses and residents in the county in October. They had conducted phone surveys and paper copies could also have been printed off from the county’s website. 380 phone interviews were conducted and 42 paper copies were received.

Questions focussed on what services were used (internet, TV, and phone, both landline and cell), as well as the level of satisfaction with each. The summary suggested that both businesses and residents felt there is a definite need to access faster, more reliable service as these are essential services.
Concerns were expressed equally by both groups over the potential costs that might be incurred with adding to the current levels of service along with suggestions that the county should not be involved in this type of project.

Council will be developing a Broadband Framework Policy and we certainly encourage public input. Stephen Bull from the province’s Internet Secretariat will be addressing council on January 9, 2018. He is very knowledgeable on this matter and has spoken to council before. It would be a great opportunity for anyone to gather information on this subject which will be a major item for council to address in the next year. We need to be informed as best we can and then pass on our ideas to council.

A special bouquet of roses goes out to all our council members. It has been a breath of fresh air to attend council and experience the welcoming, congenial atmosphere. Along with that is a noted desire and effort to make decisions in an open, transparent manner, reflective of the best interests of economic well-being, financial responsibility, and resident benefit. You all deserve a special Christmas bouquet and best wishes for a great New Year.

January 9, 2018, 9:00AM County Council Meeting Stephen Bull from Internet Secretariat speaking.
January 11, 2018. 7:00PM CCTA Regular Monthly Meeting. Reeve John Vandermeer speaking.

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