Big Lakes considering return of members-at-large

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County will add members-at-large to its subdivision and development authority.
At its regular meeting Aug. 24, council approved a motion by South Sunset House – Gilwood Councillor Ann Stewart to add two members-at-large, which will require council to amend the bylaw for the development authority.
Big Lakes Municipal Planning Commission discussed the issue at its regular meeting July 27, says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.
The MPC made a motion to add members-at-large.
During discussion by council, Stewart immediately supported members-at-large although the administration presented a recommendation accept the agenda item and report for information.
North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk agrees with Stewart.
“I like the idea,” Zabolotniuk says.
Council also discussed who would qualify to serve on the authority.
Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin suggests members have some knowledge of of land-use issues.
“I think you need an understanding of development,” Mifflin says.
Olansky says other municipalities have criteria for members-at-large.
During the 2020 budget workshop, council discussed reducing expenditures when it was suggested that cost savings could be made by reducing the number of members on the MPC, Olansky says in her report.
As a result, council passed a new bylaw that reduced the MPC from all nine council members from nine council members plus two members-at-large.
That saved the county about $12,000 annually for two members-at-large, she says.

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