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

Clearwater County Firefighters Deployed to Help with B.C. Wildfires

Once again, Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services has been asked to help battle the raging wildfires in British Columbia. The Clearwater team serves Clearwater county, the town of Rocky Mountain…

Alberta Local Food Week Shines Spotlight on Area Producers

To be proclaimed every third week of August, the Alberta government has declared this week as Alberta Local Food Week, a time for people to experience and celebrate the provinces local food industry.…

An Appreciation Weekend for Local Food

Alberta Open Farm days is this weekend and is a chance for farmers and producers to show what they put their heart and soul into. There are over 100 different farms, greenhouses, wineries, breweries…

What's up with all the Wasps?

If you have spent the last few months of your summer avoiding the outdoors because of our pesky yellow and black ‘buzzing’ friends, you aren’t alone. This year it seems as though there are an…

Jazz at the Lake Festival Returns to Sylvan

The 16th annual Jazz at the Festival is coming back to Sylvan Lake this weekend, starting Friday, August 17th and going until Sunday. President of the board for Jazz at the Lake Festival Eric Allison…

RD RCMP Looking for Suspect Accused of Writing Fraudulent Cheques

From Red Deer RCMP: Red Deer RCMP are looking for public assistance to identify a fraud suspect after a man had $6,800 stolen from his bank accounts using stolen cheques and identification. The…

Ponoka Man Arrested following apparent Mischief with an Axe and Arson

From Ponoka RCMP: The RCMP have arrested and charged one male following a series of incidents which occurred over a two hour period in downtown Ponoka on August 13. During this time windows were…

City Planning Henner’s Pond Stormwater Outlet to Wolf Creek

Content provided by the City of Lacombe: This winter, the City of Lacombe is planning to construct a stormwater outlet from Henner’s Pond to William’s Slough to Wolf Creek. (Bright green lines/dash:…

Celebration held to mark Reopening of Main Street in Lacombe

City officials held a gathering in downtown Lacombe Wednesday night to celebrate the completion of the Main Street makeover. It was last year that construction commenced to replace a sanitary sewer…

Vehicle vandalism spree in Ponoka early Wednesday morning

Police said around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, somebody vandalized vehicles with black paint on 61 Avenue near 59 Street. The markings were described as straight or squiggly lines, and it is believed…

CochraneNow.com is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login