Lacombe council votes to be recorded

New bylaw approved to increase councillor accountability, says Coun. Thalia Hibbs

Coun. Thalia Hibbs said recording how councillors vote on every issue will increase accountability. (Photo courtesy the City of Lacombe/

Votes made on every issue by Lacombe councillors will be recorded for the public to see.

Council approved a procedural bylaw at its meeting Monday, requiring all votes to be recorded. Previously, council notes would only show if a motion was approved or not.

“It’s essentially an accountability and transparency mechanism,” said Coun. Thalia Hibbs. “We don’t necessarily have a lot of people in the gallery at a meeting, but people are interested to see what the results of a vote are.”

Hibbs said increasing councillor accountability is something she has pushed for.

“I received a lot of positive feedback on it. It’s something people were looking for, that increased accountability on council,” she said.

Hibbs said she doesn’t believe too many municipalities record councillor votes.

In addition to making vote results public, the bylaw includes an open community forum that will start regular council meetings.

“It makes council more accessible,” said Hibbs. “Residents or ratepayers … may have a question or they may have an issue they want to bring forward. Whatever it may be, it gives them a platform to be heard by council.”

People will be able to schedule a presentation by noon the day of a council meeting. In the past, presentations needed to be booked further in advance and a presenter would need to jump through hoops to get on the agenda, Hibbs said.

Residents won’t be able to address something already on the council’s agenda, she added.

The bylaw’s approval also means council meeting agendas will be released Thursdays instead of Fridays.

“It might not sound like it’s a huge difference, but it does allow another full day for people to review these rather lengthy documents,” said Hibbs.

Mayor Grant Creasey said council is making every effort to provide the public with access to as much information as possible.

“I am pleased that the passage of this bylaw serves to make council more accountable to residents by providing increased access to elected officials and improving public participation in civic decision-making,” said Creasey.

The new bylaw takes effect immediately.

Matthew Goudy, acting chief administrative officer, said administration is investigating possible strategies for live streaming council meetings. Those strategies will be presented to council for approval.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Council turns down rent subsidies

Request for $50,000 to help fill 12 empty suites in Asooahum Crossing affordable living complex


Waterfront area redevelopment plan to be updated

Red Deer College a top Hockey campus

Expedia Canada ranks hockey campuses

Looking out for neighbours to fight rural crime

Building community to address crime

Suspect arrested after collision in stolen truck

Driver faces charges in court today

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Ambulance’s slow response time angers family

Woman suffers stroke, waits nearly an hour for ambulance

Over-burdened refugee tribunal ditches legislated timelines for hearings

OTTAWA — The Immigration and Refugee Board is giving up on following… Continue reading

New mobile paramedic program starts in Red Deer

Paramedics provide on-site care to those with chronic conditions

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

VANCOUVER — A Calgary woman is reminding parents about the dangers of… Continue reading

Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising the idea of creating… Continue reading

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month