Medicine Hat Minute: Curling Cancelled, Twinkle Tour, and a Compensation Disclosure List
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There will be a City Council meeting today, beginning with a closed session at 3:45 pm in which Council will discuss the Southern Alberta Stormwater Drainage Committee and appointments to advisory boards and committees. When the meeting opens up to the public at 6:30 pm, Council will look to increase the City's corporate credit card limit at the Bank of Montreal to $1,500,000. Councillor McGrogan will bring forward a Notice of Motion to instruct the City Manager to make public a compensation disclosure list for all City of Medicine Hat employees and elected officials. The Development and Infrastructure Committee will meet on Thursday at 1:00 pm. The Energy, Land and Environment Committee will meet later in the day, at 4:00 pm. No agenda is available for either meeting yet
The Medicine Hat News is seeking submissions for the annual Twinkle Tour feature. If your halls are decked and your house is a beacon of festive cheer, you can send an evening photo of your display and location to [email protected] before December 11th. The News is going to feature the best submissions in photo format and publish a map for Hatters to tour all the lovely lights!
- The Province is seeking feedback regarding the Municipal Government Act. Specifically, on training requirements for City Councillors, whether or not Council should be able to meet in private, what things they can discuss while in-camera, and the recall thresholds for elected officials. We’ve long said that the process for recalling the Mayor or sitting Councillors is arduous and unlikely to ever result in being able to actually succeed. Our friends at the Alberta Institute have plenty of information available on the issues with recall legislation as it is currently written. We would encourage you to fill out the Province’s survey and advocate for lowering the thresholds (ie. making it easier) to recall an elected official. The survey can be accessed here, but please fill it out soon as it closes on December 6th.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The Medicine Hat Curling Club has announced the cancellation of its curling season due to ongoing repairs at its facility, with plans to reopen for the 2024-25 season. The Club, which ceased operations last year following equipment failure, faced delays in acquiring new equipment, despite the City's purchase of the facility for $870,000 in July. In the meantime, Club officials are collaborating with neighbouring communities to ensure local curlers have alternative options for the current season, with some using rinks in Redcliff and Irvine. New equipment is expected to arrive in August with a grand reopening in the fall of 2024.
- Administration presented a 2023 seasonal overview of Towne Square to the Public Services Committee and highlighted challenges faced by the market pods located at the site. Despite reducing rental fees and insurance requirements, the market pods, available for outdoor markets and events, have seen limited public interest, being used only twice in 2023. The City noted instances of break-ins and increased safety concerns, with the pods becoming a hub for illegal activities like thefts, loitering, and arson. Councillor Ramona Robins expressed skepticism about the market pods' viability, suggesting a potential repurposing for other organizations or non-profits in the community. While parking revenue in the adjacent lots has increased, the city remains $10,806 short of achieving a net-neutral budget goal for the Towne Square project.
- The public engagement phase of the partnership between the non-profit organization Strong Towns and the City of Medicine Hat has wrapped up. Strong Towns will continue to advise an “action team” of City employees, providing coaching to them for the next year. At the final Strong Towns presentation, attendees were told that the best way to make change in their city is to begin in their own neighbourhoods and grow from there. With regard to problems and issues, the presenters encouraged Hatters to take an active interest in what the City is doing and dig into those issues.
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