At City Hall: Short delay for integrity commissioner

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Hiring delayed

The hiring of an integrity commissioner for St. Albert has been delayed by a month while the city finalizes the contract.

Councillors agreed in December to commit $40,000 to the position, which will handle formal complaints against city council members.

The position was originally meant to be filled by March 1 for a one-year term, but changes approved by council on Feb. 26 mean the position will instead start March 31 for an initial six-month term.

That’s because of the unusual nature of the position, which is currently only used in one other Alberta municipality. The city decided to sole-source for the first six-month term and will use a request for proposal (RFP) process for future terms.

“The reason we went with a shorter initial term is this is somewhat of a pilot for the first six-month term, so we can get better information so we can have a better defined scope when we do put out an RFP,” said chief legislative officer Chris Belke.

The city is still in negotiations for the position.

Software sole-source approved

Council members approved a three-year $189,000 software contract for Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Canada.

The contract was sole-source because the city currently uses ESRI software, meeting one of the criteria for sole-sourcing. Currently, ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) software is used to track buried utilities, online maps, transit and other city functions.

An agenda report on the motion called ESRI’s GIS software “essential to the operations of multiple departments.”

Council signs off on project prioritization

After weighing in on a proposed prioritization matrix last month, councillors gave their final approval on Feb. 26 to a document that will change how the city ranks capital projects.

The new matrix changes how capital projects are weighted, based on factors ranging from reducing health hazards to linking in with council’s strategic plan and priorities.

Based on the new matrix, funding will be recommended for capital projects based on how highly they rank.

County, city meet

St. Albert city council met formally with Sturgeon County council on Feb. 28 for the first time since being elected in October as part of the joint intermunicipal affairs committee (IAC).

During the meeting, new council members received an overview of the committee’s framework. They also received an in camera update on annexation negotiations.

The committee will next meet on June 27.

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