Regional Governance Initiative Still Working On Details

Public meetings initially scheduled for June will be delayed while the Flagstaff Intermunicipal Partnership (FIP) fleshes out more detailing of a proposed single-tier governance model region communities.
“Public feedback to date has told us that people want more details to consider – particularly around implications for taxes and services – to be able to determine if and how a proposed regional governance model offers benefits vs. the status quo, said Bob Coutts, FIP Chair. “While we have made some good progress on what governance can look like, at this point we don’t feel we have made enough progress on services, and taxation and debt.
It’s a complex subject, and to avoid frustration we believe we need to put a reasonably detailed picture of regional governance on a wall for residents to make comment on and provide further suggestions.”
FIP has established a working group of elected officials and municipal Chief Administrative Officers from each region community to develop further governance model details.
A best case scenario will see a regional governance framework completed by the Fall of 2017.
FIP will then go back to region residents with a public consultation process that seeks feedback.
A Regional Governance Initiative summary will be generated prior to municipal elections in the Fall of 2017 so that there is transparency about the initiative in advance of municipal elections.
New Councils will be asked to review the proposed framework following municipal elections in October, 2017.
A further round of public feedback may be pursued in late 2017 depending on modifications required as a result of resident engagement and consideration of new Councils.
Each municipality – by motion of Council – will then subsequently decide whether their community will participate in a single tier governance model (amalgamation).”
The details that will be worked on over the summer are guided by four guidelines:
• Governance: Developing a governance model (boundaries/divisions) to ensure citizens are properly represented by elected officials.
• Services: Establishing service choices and service levels for all communities. Note: a summary of current services offered in the region is provided as a Backgrounder to this release.
• Taxation and Debt: Balancing service levels with taxation levels and ensuring debt remains the responsibility of the community that incurred it.
• Identity: Ensuring each community retains its unique identity under a new regional context.
FIP has completed significant regional governance initiative research, including the following:
1) Evaluation of regional governance models in Canada
2) A regional services survey
3) Infrastructure assessment
4) Four public open houses
5) Municipal report card of current municipal operations
Informed by this research, FIP member communities unanimously voted to pursue detailing of a proposed single tier governance model – from a number of potential governance models considered – as a best means to position region communities for the future.
FIP is comprised of representatives from all municipalities within the Flagstaff Region: the Towns of Daysland, Hardisty, Killam and Sedgewick, the Villages of Alliance, Forestburg, Heisler and Lougheed, and Flagstaff County.
More information on the FIP Regional Governance Initiative can be found at www.flagstaffunited.ca

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