South Peace News
By the strict letter of the law, Town of High Prairie councillors will no longer be required to provide written reports at council meetings.
The workload lessened after council amended its procedural bylaw at its July 24 meeting which now allows for written and/or verbal reports.
However, at the request of Mayor Brian Panasiuk, councillors will still be urged to provide written reports.
During debate, Councillor Donna Deynaka opposed the amendment allowing verbal reports.
“When it comes to committee reports, it’s nice to have those reports ahead of time,” she said, adding it allowed her better preparation for meetings.
A deadline exists a few days before meetings for councillors to provide written reports.
“We can all meet that deadline,” said Dey- naka.
At previous meetings, Deynaka, Panasiuk and Councillor Debbie Rose were the only members of council to provide regular written reports in the agenda package.
Deynaka suggested verbal reports not be allowed during a meeting. If not, “move on,” said CAO Brian Martinson.
Councillor Brian Gil- roy opposed the hard- fast written report rule.
“There are some very important meetings,” he said, referring to the deadline and council’s regular meeting.
“[There is] a potential to have no report at all.
“We just met today or yesterday … on a key issue. Should we wait a couple of weeks?”
Councillor Judy Stenhouse liked the option.
“Sometimes [verbal] does stimulate conversation,” she said.
Panasiuk said written reports were “definitely better” although it may be difficult for some councillors to meet the deadline.
“I encourage everyone to send in written reports.”
Still, Panasiuk liked keeping the option of both open.
Councillor Michael Long preferred written.
“I agree with Donna [Deynaka], that’s ironic because sometimes I have a tough time getting them in.
“If it’s verbal, it’s gone tomorrow. It’s an important part of our legacy as a council,” Long added.
Only Deynaka opposed the new bylaw.
Councillors Arlen Quartly and Rose were absent.