Red Deer City Hall. (Advocate file photo.)

Red Deer City Hall. (Advocate file photo.)

More money for digital efficiencies will stay in Red Deer’s 2023-24 budget

A city council bent on cost-savings will not eliminate digital upgrades needed for “hybrid” City of Red Deer workers to continue to have flexibility to work from home.

While Councillors Kraymer Barnstable and Vesna Higham favoured removing the $113,185 proposed by administration to increase digital capacity and help some municipal workers continue to work remotely, other councillors didn’t support this during Thursday’s budget process.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes said these are evolving times and the city needs to be flexible in its approach to the workplace. She and most other councillors accepted the argument presented by administration that this “changing environment” means more reliance on technology.

“The hybrid working environment is now standard, and an expectation of council, the office and citizens,” council was told — so not accepting this expenditure would mean having more computer issues, failed virtual meetings and lower staff productivity and morale.

Red Deer City Council

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