Kneehill County Reeve Jerry Wittstock and council have been notified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs that no further action will be taken in response to a petition submitted by over 1,200 Kneehill County residents.
A voluntary preliminary review was conducted by ministry staff in December.
“They asked us if we would voluntarily become part of the review process. We had no issues with that,” said Kneehill County Reeve Jerry Wittstock.
Advice from ministry staff indicated that addressing minor issues identified in the recent Municipal Affairs Municipal Accountability Program (MAP) Audit that Kneehill County undertook voluntarily in the fall, as well as improved communications between Council, administration and residents “…would address any items of concern from the standpoint of Municipal Affairs.”
Most of the issues, according to the Reeve, identified wording in bylaws and other process documentation as one of the main concerns which have since been changed to better reflect current standards.
Staff has already addressed and resolved five of the six items identified in the MAP audit.
This voluntary review and the MAP Audit were conducted at different times but both agreed on better communication between the municipality and its residents.
“We were very confident that there was nothing to look at here and that’s been borne out here,” said Wittstock. Council will address a renewed commitment to communications after a Strategic Planning Retreat which recently took place.
“We have discussed the communication. Somehow we should be able to communicate better but again communication is a two-way street.
“You can put all the information out there you want but if nobody wants to look at it or nobody goes searching for it or they don’t care then I guess you do the best job you can with communication and we are going to try to improve that.”
Kneehill County live streams their meetings on Youtube as well as continual updates on their social media platforms, in the newspaper, and on their website.
Councillors are also available to answer ratepayer questions.
“It’s nice to engage people. It’s nice to get reaction from people because that’s how we know how we are doing our job but that being stated if you want something come to us,” said Wittstock.