Four councillors record perfect attendance

Four Red Deer city councillors did not miss a single vote at City Hall in 2014. And one councillor extended his streak of perfect attendance to 10 years. Councillors Ken Johnston, Lawrence Lee, Lynne Mulder and Frank Wong attended

Four Red Deer city councillors did not miss a single vote at City Hall in 2014.

And one councillor extended his streak of perfect attendance to 10 years.

Councillors Ken Johnston, Lawrence Lee, Lynne Mulder and Frank Wong attended the 29 budget, regular and special meetings over the last 12 months.

Wong, however, gets the gold star for attending every meeting since he was first elected in 2004. The fourth-term councillor was 15 minutes late for one meeting because he was attending a funeral.

The retired city engineer said he does not have a busy social life so he has adequate time to attend to city business.

Coun. Paul Harris had the worst record, missing four meetings in total — in April, May, July and August — to attend professional development conferences.

It is not unusual for councillors to miss a meeting here and there because of conferences and meetings outside Red Deer. Harris sits on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities board and Coun. Buck Buchanan is on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association board of directors.

While there is no set attendance requirement within the Municipal Government Act, a councillor could face disqualification if he or she misses all regular council meetings in eight consecutive weeks.

Buchanan missed three meetings in March, June and November for personal holidays in Arizona and Ireland.

While away, Buchanan and others used to take part in meetings via teleconference. But council decided when “you’re away, you’re away” because of the high cost of the service. He estimated the cost can range between $800 to $1,000 per meeting.

Buchanan will miss the Feb. 2 meeting because he will be attending the Super Bowl in Arizona.

Councillors Tanya Handley and Dianne Wyntjes missed two meetings apiece. Mayor Tara Veer missed the March 31 meeting.

Attendance records are available at www.reddeer.ca.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com