Medicine Hat Minute: Many Meetings, Animal Issues, and the Mayor Questions Administration
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
The Public Services Committee will meet this morning at 8:00 am. The Committee will hear the Managing Director’s Service Area Update, which includes the Ukrainian and Refugee Support Program, a Transit Service Update for Route 56, downtown washrooms, an update to Parks safety measures, weed management, and more. The Committee will also hear a presentation on the Urban Forest Management Plan.
- Later today, at 10:00 am, the Administrative and Legislative Review Committee will meet. The entire meeting is closed to the public while the Committee discusses an agenda item titled “Formal Complaint Review” - there's no details but we assume it has something to do with the Mayor's tiff with Administration (see below!). Then, at 3:00 pm, the Audit Committee will meet to discuss the appointment of an external auditor. Finally, to finish the day, the Council Committee of the Whole will meet at 6:30 pm. There is a single item on the agenda - the long-awaited Facilities For the Future final report.
- On Tuesday, at 4:30 pm, there will be a meeting of the Development and Infrastructure Committee. The Committee will discuss changes to the Public Roads Bylaw that would establish multi-use crossings at specific locations within the City’s Heritage Trail System and correct the wheel diameter size for children’s bicycles to allow them to ride on the sidewalk.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
Our friends at the Alberta Institute announced the second round of their Can’t Stop Alberta Tour, and there’s a date set for Medicine Hat. On Tuesday, September 12th, the Common Sense Medicine Hat team will be joining the Alberta Institute for a fun evening at the Kinplex Arena Social Room. We’ll be discussing some important, topical issues in provincial and municipal politics. You can RSVP by clicking here, and you can also view the list of other events online. Hope to see you there!
- There were some tense moments at the City Council meeting as Mayor Linnsie Clark accused City Manager Anne Mitchell of acting unilaterally, without Council’s formal approval, regarding the City’s reorganization, a shuffle which cost some people their jobs. Administration made the changes last month, which were then endorsed by Council after the fact. Clark suggested that Council should have been required to approve the reorganization before it was enacted, and consulted an outside legal opinion about potential ramifications. The rest of Council, seemingly happy to allow for governance by unelected Administration, cut off Clark’s speaking time, and one Councillor suggested that her “tone and behaviour” were “unbecoming of the office”. Clark campaigned on transparency and promised to examine the role the Administration plays in City decision-making.
- Council dealt with several animal-related issues. After months of debate, bylaw amendments were made that allow for a trap, neuter, and release program to deal with the city’s feral cat population. Humane societies are now allowed to sweep the city and pick up the cats - but those humane societies must comply with Alberta Veterinary Association standards. The program will be administered and paid for by other groups - not by the City itself. Council also passed the Urban Wildlife Management Bylaw to address the feeding of deer within city limits. Also, it was decided that Bylaw Officers will spend some time on the city’s trail system to distribute gift cards for the Poolhouse Cafe & Roastery to people who are following the Responsible Animal Ownership Bylaw by keeping their dogs on a leash and keeping them under control when in off-leash areas.
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