Lacombe city council delivered on a key election promise last night, when it approved a bylaw requiring that all council votes be recorded.

Coun. Thalia Hibbs was one of those campaigning on improving transparency and accountability at city hall. She was excited to see the Procedural Bylaw passed.

“Now members of the public will be able to see … how each councillor votes,” Hibbs said. “So it will record who voted in favour and who voted against, as opposed to past practice where it just said that it was carried or not carried.”

Administration compared city council practices with those of 11 other municipalities including Sylvan Lake, Blackfalds and Olds. It found that most do not routinely record votes.

However, the bylaw stops short of mandating blind votes, which were proposed by Mayor Grant Creasey during the campaign. Instead, votes will be recorded manually by the legislative coordinator and included in meeting minutes.

To conduct blind votes, council chambers would need to be outfitted with the proper equipment. Administration’s report stated it could cost as much as $25,000 to purchase the hardware and software, with annual maintenance fees of $6,500.

Electronic voting might come when the city replaces the room’s sound system, which is more than 10 years old.

“It’s just not something that we felt we needed to deal with this year but I believe council’s in support of it in the long run,” Hibbs said.

“We’d like to see a revamping of the sound system and ... then we’d be able to do things like live streaming. And also with the revamping of the audio system, there’s an opportunity to utilize technology that allows you to just press the button … (it would) show up on screens how each member voted.”

Opening up council accessibility is also a focus in the bylaw, with provisions for an open forum at each meeting.

Residents can now appear before elected officials if they’ve written to the Chief Administrative Officer by noon on the day of a regular council meeting.

They will be afforded no longer than 5 minutes to ask council a question or make a brief presentation, with a maximum of 3 people heard at each meeting.

More Local News

Lacombe Days committee in need of volunteers

Lacombe Days needs about 20 volunteers if the four-day event is to proceed with the same number of festivities. The organizing committee's Chris Ross says, they're desperate. "Without the volunteers,…

Blackfalds Bike Skills Park Set for Season

First identified as a priority in their Recreation Master Plan, the 12 acre Bike Skills Park in Blackfalds was approved last year, and now they are less than three weeks from their grand opening.…

Blackfalds RCMP Trying to Identify Woman with Injuries

From Blackfalds RCMP: On May 20th, 2018 at approximately 3: 00 am, Blackfalds RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious female at the west side Esso in Gasoline Alley. A witness reported that an…

30 year old killed in off highway crash west of Sundre

Updated with files from the Canadian Press: Members of an Alberta fire department are grieving the loss of one of their own. An off-duty firefighter with the Rocky View Fire Department from Cochrane…

Maskwacis schools to fall under new First Nations authority

The four Maskwacis Cree Nations signed what was called a “landmark” agreement with the federal government on Friday, which would allow them to take control of First Nations education in the…

Ashley Chmelyk Wanted for Charges in Wetaskiwin, Leduc & Fort Sask

From Fort Saskatchewan RCMP: The RCMP are actively trying to locate a male who is wanted on outstanding arrest warrants and believed to be actively evading the police. Public assistance is being…

Rimbey RCMP Investigate Break and Enter

From Rimbey RCMP – The RCMP are seeking public assistance in identifying a male following a break-in at the Rimbey Motor Inn. On May 1, 2018 in the morning, an adult male broke into the Motor Inn…

Lacombe Farmer's Market Returns to Michener Park

For some years, the Lacombe Farmer's Market was at Michener Park until it relocated indoors at the Gary Moe Autogroup Sportsplex Arena. This season the event has made a return to Michener Park, and…

Four Charged after Counterfeit Credit Card Search Warrant in Sylvan

From Red Deer RCMP – A man and a woman face a total of 84 criminal charges related to stolen and counterfeit credit cards after a Priority Crimes Task Force investigation that began in early March…

PAMZ Takes Public Input on Where to Place Air Monitoring Station

The Parkland Airshed Management Zone (PAMZ) held their annual public concerns meeting last night (May 17th) in Ponoka. According to PAMZ Executive Director Kevin Warren, the meeting was to help… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide