Drumheller Town Council
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Monday, June 18, 2018
Council heard a delegation from Diana Rowe and Linde Turner of the Drumheller and Area Childhood Development Coalition. They reported they have been conducting assessments of student’s level of development in preschool years using an Early Development Instrument which measures physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication and general knowledge. In 2016, 122 questionnaires were completed at schools in the region. Council heard there is an area of concern in the physical health and wellbeing category, with findings suggesting that 19 per cent of preschool children are ‘at risk’ in this category. The coalition has been sharing their data with schools.
The delegation requested continued support from the town in sponsoring ‘Free Play’ sessions, which the town has done since 2014. Rowe said research has shown these free play sessions boost cognitive and emotional capacities in students. Mayor Heather Colberg said they would add a motion to next council meeting’s agenda to extend the town’s sponsorship.
Councillors Fred Makowecki, Jay Garbutt, and CAO Darryl Drohomerski delivered reports from their attendance at the 2018 Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Halifax. Councillor Makowecki reported on the creative ways Halifax has transformed their public spaces. Councillor Garbutt noted ways to improve affordable housing in the community, opportunities to apply for additional federal funding for infrastructure, and ways to counter environmental sustainability issues. CAO Drohomerski reported that east coast municipalities tend to be better funded by the federal government, the trade show at FCM was a strong networking opportunity, and in his opinion the best presentation was on retail marketing.
Councillor Garbutt raised concern about the expense of the conference exceeding the funds allotted to councillors to attend events and wished to discuss this with council in the future.
Council held a discussion to review the draft Public Participation Policy which outlines the degree the town and council is required to engage with the public. These changes are being made in accordance to demands within the Municipal Government Act which requires changes be made to municipal engagement strategies by July 23, 2018. CAO Drohemerski said the town hopes to conduct an online survey of community input in regards to the community’s needs on the town’s public engagement. Since there were only three councillors in attendance at this meeting, councillor Jay Garbutt requested discussion be moved to the next council meeting.
Council held a roundtable discussion on bylaw enforcement. Mayor Colberg said she hears concerns from the community suggesting bylaw enforcement is ‘reactive’ rather than ‘proactive.’ Colberg expressed a desire for bylaw enforcement to become more proactive in their observation and citations of violations in the community. She identified wording in the policy which says anonymous tips are of no priority, which herself and councillor Garbutt saw as inaccurate and poorly worded as anonymous tips are considered but at a lower priority than complaints submitted by known individuals. Councillor Garbutt noted the town’s bylaw enforcement policy says only 10 per cent of bylaw violations are the result of a complaint.
Council held discussion on their summer meeting schedule and made a motion to go in-camera.