The Village of Morrin council disagreed on changing a recent motion intended to acquire help for the municipality’s chief administrative officer (CAO).
The discussion took place at the Sept. 16 regular meeting of council, held via teleconference to meet pandemic guidelines.
In the meeting agenda note had been placed stating, “Rescind and revise resolution – that was enacted Fri. Sept. 11 2020 so as to provide adequate scope of duties for clarity and transparency.”
Mayor Howard Helton read a proposed replacement motion, “Endeavor (the village’s auditor) will assist the CAO with internal control efficiencies, financial reports budget versus actual prepared and reported on a monthly basis, separate bank accounts set up for capital projects.
Make grant applications and provide reporting for MSP (Municipal Stimulus Program), MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative) and do corporate planning for operations (three years) and capital (five years).”
Coun. M’Liss Edwards wanted more information about the revised motion. “Don’t understand why we need this,” said Edwards.
Helton responded the motion passed Sept. 11 lacked clarity.
The Sept. 11 motion read, “Endeavor will assist the CAO with internal control efficiencies and other matters reported as a result of the 2019 audit, although non-material adjustments (now) Sept. 10, salary and benefits, will be adjusted to reflect additional benefits received by the CAO.
Endeavor will forward updated disclosures to Alberta Municipal Affairs and will return to council for approval.”
Coun. Melissa Wilton stated Monica Faupel of Endeavor helped word the motion, went over it with CAO Annette Plachner and further stated that if the motion was altered, then Faupel should be consulted first.
Wilton asked if Helton had consulted Faupel about a change. Helton stated no, but changes to resolutions are up to council not the auditor.
Wilton re-read the Sept. 11 motion and stated she felt it addressed all pertinent points and didn’t need changes.
Helton responded he felt major grants should be mentioned to ensure they are applied for.
Councillors decided not to change the Sept. 11 resolution.
Mayor Helton asked if the village needed to consider holding council meetings in the community hall during the pandemic.
Edwards stated it wasn’t necessary, as council is considered a cohort under the pandemic guidelines and can meet in the village hall without meeting the social distancing guidelines.
Helton stated he wasn’t sure the village council could be considered a cohort.
Edwards responded the village office could accommodate social distancing if necessary and any members of the public could sit in the hallway to meet social distancing rules.
Edwards stated council meetings don’t get many visitors anyway. Plus, Edwards noted, visitors can always wear masks.
It was also noted at the meeting the village office is open to the public and has a plexiglass barrier in place to meet pandemic guidelines.
Councillors intended to go into a closed session to discuss a private matter, but a conference call technical problem came up and the closed session was cancelled. The meeting was adjourned.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter