Penhold moving ahead following municipal review

The Town of Penhold heads into 2014 a stronger municipality following a detailed review of its operations last year, says the mayor.

The Town of Penhold heads into 2014 a stronger municipality following a detailed review of its operations last year, says the mayor.

Council requested a review in fall 2012 after residents complained about a 4.75 per cent tax increase and hundreds signed a petition calling on the province to take a look at town operations.

Consultants took no issue with how the town was running its finances but came back with more than 60 recommendations on how to improve the municipality.

Mayor Dennis Cooper said many of those recommendations were dealt with by the last council, and the new seven-member council will go through them one by one later this month.

A priorities breakfast meeting is also planned this month.

The community meeting will give council and the community an opportunity to talk about all of the issues, such as streets and parks, that came up during October’s municipal elections. It starts at 9 a.m. at the Memorial Hall at 1123 Fleming Ave. on Jan. 28.

Following that, council will undertake a strategy session to map out the next 45 months.

Cooper said the first order of business has been to oversee the 2014 budget, which will go to the next council meeting on Monday for approval.

Many of the recommendations involve minor administrative changes.

A review of the salary grid to measure its competitiveness with other municipalities is recommended, along with a staffing level review.

“There’s not a lot of big changes,” he said.

“A lot of the recommendations were little tweaks.”

Some recommendations involved continuing current efforts, such as trying to lure new commercial and industrial businesses and holding “Coffee with Council” meetings.

“What the (inspection) did is it did exactly what I said it would from the beginning. It’s going to make us a stronger municipality.

“I felt at the end of it it clarified a lot of things, especially on the employment end.”

Improving job descriptions, clarifying management structure and more clearly defining part- and full-time work were among recommendations.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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