City advisory groups to have clearer mandate

Red Deer city council members will no longer serve on citizen advisory groups that will be revamped to give the public a better say.

Red Deer city council members will no longer serve on citizen advisory groups that will be revamped to give the public a better say.

The city adopted what it calls a Public Participation Toolbox last January, which gives staff a road map for gathering residents’ feedback depending on the issue.

As part of that work, the city looked at its citizen advisory groups, which include the Greater Downtown Action Plan Steering Committee and Environmental Advisory Committee, as well as five others.

Interviews with past committee members showed some were unhappy with the process. While they expected to be providing long-term direction for the city, committee members found themselves wrestling with much more immediate concerns, said Elaine Vincent, the city’s director of development services.

Some public members felt the need to come to some sort of consensus led to watered-down, status-quo recommendations.

The presence of council members on committees also proved confusing, in some cases, to both councillors and other committee members.

Under recommendations approved unanimously by council on Tuesday citizen advisory groups will have a clearer mandate and term. When an advisory committee should be formed will also be clarified.

Councillors applauded the changes, suggesting citizen volunteers sitting on advisory groups will feel they have a more significant say.

“I think this is a real step forward in valuing the time of our community members,” said Coun. Tanya Handley.

Coun. Frank Wong noted that the number of volunteers putting forward their names for committee positions was dropping, a sign he believes, that community members were discouraged by the current system.

Coun. Lynne Mulder predicted the revamped citizen advisory groups would provide “meaningful consultation and dialogue.”

City staff will come back to council with a report on how to make the changes by the end of March.

Just Posted

Alberta eyes more operating rooms, contracts with private clinics for surgeries

CALGARY — Alberta’s health minister says he aims to make the province… Continue reading

One year after arrests, Canadians held in China set to face trial

OTTAWA — As two imprisoned Canadians face trials in Chinese courts where… Continue reading

‘The grief is heavy:’ Alberta First Nation grieving death of five in house fire

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — The chief of the Alexis Nakoda Sioux Nation… Continue reading

Calgary teacher cuts can be averted, but provincial audit, review going ahead

CALGARY — The Alberta government is moving ahead with a financial audit… Continue reading

Man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home to stay in prison

BOWDEN, Alta. — A man who strangled his wife and cemented her… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Flames’ win streak at 6 games with 5-2 win over Coyotes

Flames 5 Coyotes 2 GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sean Monahan scored for the… Continue reading

Alberta eyes more operating rooms, contracts with private clinics for surgeries

CALGARY — Alberta’s health minister says he aims to make the province… Continue reading

Sebastian Aho scores twice, Hurricanes beat Oilers 6-3

Hurricanes 6 Oilers 3 EDMONTON — Sebastian Aho had a pair of… Continue reading

One year after arrests, Canadians held in China set to face trial

OTTAWA — As two imprisoned Canadians face trials in Chinese courts where… Continue reading

‘The grief is heavy:’ Alberta First Nation grieving death of five in house fire

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alta. — The chief of the Alexis Nakoda Sioux Nation… Continue reading

Calgary teacher cuts can be averted, but provincial audit, review going ahead

CALGARY — The Alberta government is moving ahead with a financial audit… Continue reading

Man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home to stay in prison

BOWDEN, Alta. — A man who strangled his wife and cemented her… Continue reading

Most Read