At City Hall
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 06:00 am
Taking transit to task
Council was called impotent and the mayor asked to explain the city’s contract with Diversified Transportation during Monday’s meeting.
Resident Bill Tuchak spoke to council during the public presentation portion of the meeting, saying because of the lack of an audit committee or an internal auditor to be council’s watchdog, council is reliant on administration.
“As a result I believe there are several financial black holes in the city’s operations and the most serious of them is in the transit department,” Tuchak said. He asked the mayor to have a “complete and thorough” explanation about the contract by Sept. 23, the next council meeting.
Coun. Len Bracko asked if it’s still economical to contract out bus drivers. He was told that’s reviewed each time the tender is put out and will be again as any contract renewal moves forward.
Mayor Nolan Crouse said that would be an important piece of information for the next council. He said every three years there is a review of in-house versus contracting services.
Getting better all the time
Council received an update on the 2013 continuous improvement program Monday night.
The report provided an update on projects selected for the program this year, which were looks at the corporate reporting system, grant process review, optimizing the city’s advertising spending, public engagement and website rationalization. It also provided a preview of a list of potential projects for 2014, which would be subject to council approval.
Coun. Wes Brodhead asked if there could be some detail on cost savings, and Maya Pungur-Buick, the general manager of corporate strategic services for the city, said while some cost-savings might be found, the program is about finding efficiencies and improvements, not just saving money.
Council received the report for information unanimously. Crouse then made a second related motion to have the 2014 continuous improvement list include development processes, addressing “red-tape obstacles and green-tape opportunities.” The motion was passed unanimously.
Next council to look at parking ban
Coun. Wes Brodhead formally made a motion to have the next council debate the idea of a parking ban on the north curb of Erin Ridge Drive between Boudreau Road and Eldorado Drive.
The debate is to occur after the traffic impact study is submitted to council, as Brodhead said any decision needs to be made in context of that study.
His intent was to read the motion into the record but to have the future council address the issue.
Philanthropy award policy approved
Council voted to approve a policy on the St. Albert philanthropy award, formalizing the city’s support of the program.
The vote was unanimous to approve the program. The report said the annual cost to the city, which is budgeted for within the mayor’s office, is up to $2,000.
A community-led group organizes the program which recognizes individuals and families for their contributions to non-profits in St. Albert.
Roger Lemieux’s last meeting
Coun. Roger Lemieux got the opportunity to share some last words as a councillor for St. Albert on Monday night, the last regular council meeting he’ll be attending.
“I want you all to know that having served as councillor I am a better person,” he said, adding he hopes he’s given back as much as he’s received. “I say goodbye with an empty heart but a lot of pride.”
He thanked council, city staff, the voters and yes, even the press. He asked St. Albertans to get out and vote in the coming municipal election, and to remember that the city is what it is thanks to the contributions of those who came before.