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St. Albert has excellent city staff

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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013 06:00 am

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In response to Mr. Durham’s letter to the editor (St. Albert Gazette, Dec. 11), regarding administration being unprepared for council questions:

I have to strongly disagree with Mr. Durham that administration has been ill prepared for council questions. I feel that I am very well versed in municipal affairs and would like to provide my opinion. I have made a valiant effort to listen to the vast majority of the business presentations and budget debate and one common theme seems to emerge – governance vs. management. Several times during the 12 long hours of debates (as noted by Councillor Hughes during the final motion on Thursday) council appeared to have a very blurred line of governance vs. administration / management.

Many of the questions that were brought to administration had very little to do with motions on the floor and were more micromanagement, administration procedure type questions.

It is not council’s role to manage the city. It is the role of the city manager to manage the city. Council sets policy and priorities and strategic directions. I feel that if some of the questions were more poignant and on-point, administration would not have appeared to be struggling.

Overall, it was my impression that administration was very well prepared for the vast majority of questions posed by council.

The line crossed between governance and management may be an attribute of inexperienced council members and I can only hope that a year behind the bench will further reiterate the role of council and its difference from the role of administration.

In closing, I think a big congratulations is in order to the entire city council and administration for bringing a budget forward with a tax increase of under two per cent. Well done.

Dana Popadynetz, St. Albert


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