Written reports now mandatory

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County council members are now required to provide regular written reports for meetings and conferences they attend.

At its regular meeting Aug. 9, council approved a draft council attendance report policy presented by CAO Jerry Gautreau.

All nine council members voted in favour of the policy.

“The purpose of the policy is Big Lakes County recognizes the importance of council members reporting on committee and board meetings and conferences,” Gautreau writes in his report.

“The purpose of this policy is to provide a guideline to council members on reporting requirements to increase and improve public transparency, accountability, trust and access to information.”

Each council member is required to provide a written report to the CAO no later than the first Wednesday of each month, the policy states.

Reports will be included in the agenda package.

Council members will include a summary or highlights of each committee and board meeting, conference, convention or other event they attend as a Big Lakes representative.

One councillor suggested council members also report on their work while serving their ward.

Kinuso Councillor Roberta Hunt said she already journals her county work.

“I write what I do in my ward,” said Hunt, serving her first term on council.

“I feel it’s important to report what we do in our ward.

“I think it’s good to have accountability to tell people what we’re doing.”

At its regular meeting April 26, council passed a motion by High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Tyler Airth to direct administration to draft a policy for council reporting and reports.

The issue was raised by Gautreau when council reviewed the councillor convention and registration policy.

“I’m certainly a believer in council reports,” said Gautreau, a former councillor for the Rocky View County.

“Council reports are transparency to ratepayers.”

He adds it is also good community relations.

“It shows residents what we’re doing,” said Gautreau, who became Big Lakes CAO April 5.

Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin agreed reports are good.

“Reports would be meaningful for us as councillors.”

Reports allow council members to note highlights of the meeting and pertinent information to county council, Gautreau noted.

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