Medicine Hat Minute: Public Engagement, Recreation Plan, and Body Camera Use
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There will be a regular meeting of City Council on Monday at 3:45 pm. As usual, the meeting begins with a closed session before opening to the public at 6:30 pm. Council will hear a presentation from Administration about oil and gas wells within the municipal boundaries of Medicine Hat and Redcliff. Council will also discuss amending the Legal Representation & Indemnification of Council Members and Employees policy to allow the City Manager to pay for certain legal fees incurred by Councillors or employees if it is appropriate to do so.
- On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Municipal Planning Commission at 2:30 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet. The Corporate Services Committee will meet on Thursday at 4:30 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet either.
- The City is seeking feedback on its public engagement efforts. The information collected will be used to establish a consistent public participation framework to be used by all employees. An online survey will be open until April 5th, and up to 30 volunteers will be randomly selected to participate in a focus group on April 20th. At this rate, by May the City will be consulting on whether the way they sought feedback on how they consult was appropriate...!
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
The Chief of the Medicine Hat Police Service said he supports the Province’s plans to mandate body camera use on all municipal police officers. MHPS had recently added new cameras after a successful pilot project in 2017 and now has 26 of them - enough for most, but not all, on-duty officers. The cost of expanded use still needs to be worked out with the Province, as storage needs for the video footage will increase with more use, in addition to the costs of the cameras themselves.
- Councillors heard an update on a capital plan for recreation facilities that was ordered 18 months ago. The "Facilities for the Future" report is an offshoot of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and is intended to compare the costs of upgrading existing recreation facilities with building new, combined facilities. The City's current infrastructure requires repairs in the near future, and it is estimated that around $50 million will be necessary in the long term to maintain them at their current level of operation. The report could be finished this summer.
- The Horsefly Spillway project officially began. The regional flood mitigation partnership is led by Taber and while it includes Medicine Hat, the City does not actively contribute funding. In 2019, Council voted against financial contributions to the project in favour of spending flood mitigation money locally with a focus on the South Saskatchewan River. Last month, Council voted to sign a joint letter asking the Province to cover any shortfalls in the Horsefly project budget.
Common Sense Medicine Hat doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please email this post to your friends, share it on Facebook or Twitter, and help make sure every Hatter knows what's really going on at City Hall.