BOYLE – Besides a few small tweaks as to who sits on which committees, not a lot has changed in Village of Boyle council chambers since the Oct. 18 election.
All five incumbents were re-elected in the municipal election, and all five took the seats they became familiar with during the last four-year term during the new council’s first organizational meeting Oct. 27.
Assistant CAO Tina George swore in Coun. Mike Antal, Coun. Colin Derko, Coun. Pat Ferguson, Coun. Shelby Kiteley and Coun. Barb Smith before nominations for mayor were heard. Ferguson nominated Derko to retain the title he has had for the last four years, and council agreed unanimously. There were no other nominations.
“Again, I'm honoured that you guys actually trust me to represent our village, with a good team,” Derko said before the meeting continued. “I'm looking forward to it guys, honestly, I say that with all my heart, I think we had a great four years, so thank you.”
The next order of business was the appointment of deputy mayor. Ferguson will serve in the position for the time being after he was nominated by Antal. Again, there were no other nominations, and everyone agreed to the appointment. There could soon be changes as to how the deputy mayor is chosen though.
CAO Warren Griffin noted that according to the village’s current procedural bylaw, the deputy mayor position is held on a rotational basis with each of the four councillors serving for one year, before passing it on to the next. All that needs to be determined currently is who will serve first and what the rotation will be.
Derko was interested in seeing that changed to allow for a nomination to take place during every organizational meeting, meaning a councillor could serve in the position for longer than a year if they were nominated again.
Griffin said that would require an amendment to the procedural bylaw which could take place down the road if council so chooses.
Next, all of council will retain signing authority for the village along with Griffin and George.
Friesen Viney Stasiuk Chartered Professional Accountants (formerly Shoemaker Viney Friesen) will also continue to act as the municipality’s auditor, as the firm has for 13 years. The village will also keep three law firms at its disposal as Brownlee LLP, Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer LLP, and Brian Liddell were appointed as the village’s primary solicitors.
The bulk of the organizational meeting focused on committee appointments, even though just a few changes were made in the end. The biggest change came not in who will sit on certain committees, but whether council members should continue to serve on the executive boards of community groups.
“Some of these community-minded committees need to get more public involvement, it can't fall on us all the time,” said Antal. “They're looking at the village all the time to fill these positions, but we’re there as village representation.”
“I think that's what our committee groups need to realize,” he said. “Honestly, as councillors, we’ve got other duties and if council has to keep those committees going and fund them, I almost think the committee has to fold then.”
Council later passed a motion that stated elected council members will no longer be permitted to sit on subcommittees or become executive members in groups where they represent the village. They may take on those responsibilities as members of the public but cannot represent the village at those meetings. Those committees include the Community Betterment Committee, Greater Athabasca Community Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Boyle Library Board and the Boyle Fitness Centre Committee.
The topic of remuneration for official village business was last on the agenda before the first regular meeting of council came to order. The mayor will continue to earn $1,000 per month, plus $200 per regular council meeting, while councillors receive $500 per month and $175 per meeting. For other meetings and functions over four hours long, mayor and councillors receive $210, while for meetings under four hours they will receive $130.
Public members at large will earn $65 for meetings longer than two hours and $130 for meetings longer than two hours.