Council motioned to change the remuneration for special meetings during regular working hours for the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
Presently, the CAO gets paid $50 for special meetings even if the meeting falls during the CAO’s regular work hours.
“It was set up that way when I was hired to work here,” stated CAO Plachner.
Council approved a motion that the CAO will not receive compensation for extra meetings that are during working hours.
Council also reminded CAO Plachner of the unanimous motion in April that bank reconciliations and bank statements be provided at the council meetings quarterly.
Helton directed that “We get back on track of that at the December 18 meeting.”
Other unanswered requests by council included where the $55,000 overrun on the fire pump motor replacement was coming out in the budget, as was promised by Plachner at the special meeting.
Plachner did not recall where the monies were found in the budget stating finally, “I took that from something we didn’t do. It’s covered anyway.”
Plachner agreed to inform council exactly where the monies were found for the overrun at their next meeting.
Following a closed session that CAO Plachner refused to attend, council moved to accept a CAO Entitlements Policy.
It was explained that this was a necessary step as all documents from the past listing these benefits and amounts are no longer in existence.
When questioned by CAO Plachner, Mayor Helton stated, “The purpose of this policy is to establish a record going forward, as at this stage there is neither a record of entitlements nor documentation of previous council approval of these current entitlements.
“There is no change, it is just what you are currently getting as regards to vacation, sick, salary, the RSPs, staff holidays, just so we have a record of it,” he concluded.
FOIP fee returned
Further to missing documents, council motioned to return a $25 FOIP fee to Joyce Webster, ECA Review publisher, as per her written request.
Coun. Melissa Wilton read from the letter from Catherine Taylor, Senior Information and Privacy Manager from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta that, in part, stated, ‘The written and verbal reason cited by the Public Body [CAO Plachner] to deny access is not a valid reason under the FOIP Act.’
The letter concluded stating “A public body cannot simply refuse to look for a record and refuse to respond. The FOIP Act was put in place to prevent that very thing.”
List of destroyed documents
To be compliant with the Municipal Government Act (MGA) Section 214 (1 and 2), council passed a motion to have the CAO present a comprehensive report listing all missing documents.
CAO Plachner had responded to John Siemens request on Sept. 4, 2019 that the “minutes from the 1970’s and 1980’s were not available as they do not exist any longer and were apparently disposed of years ago when the storage room was cleaned out in the 90’s by council and a summer student.”
Coun. Wilton continued to read, “Apparently the disposal of documents was not dealt with as per the Municipal Government Act.
Door into work area
Council proposed a divider for the work space area that is convenient for all parties working in the office, instead of a separate door, as quotes came in ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 for a door.
“It [the divider] won’t work because of the FOIP Act. Because of the FOIP Act it has to be a soundproof room,” said CAO Plachner.
Council tabled the item and motioned for CAO Plachner to provide the FOIP regulation section that specifies the ‘workspace room’ would require sound proofing and provide it to council before their meeting on Wed. Dec. 18.