Town of Stony Plain votes to repeal five outdated council policies

Town of Stony Plain votes to repeal five outdated council policies

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The Town of Stony Plain has passed a motion to repeal five outdated council policies dating back to 2000.

During the Feb. 22 regular council meeting, administration recommended that council repeal the following policies: Over or Non-Budget Expenditures (2000), FOIP Coordinator (2001), Vehicles (2008), Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Minutes and Agendas (2001), and Municipal Planning Commission Minutes and Agendas (2001).

In 2018-19, administration undertook the task of reviewing all Town policies. It determined that many are no longer required after being developed into procedures or included in bylaws. In addition, administration also decided to separate all Town policies into two categories: “Council Policy” or “Administrative Policy.”

“Some of these policies are quite old,” said Town of Stony Plain General Manager of Corporate Services Jen Boleski. “We had done a thorough review in 2018-19 and brought a lot for council to repeal at the time. These were left for further review and as we look at them today, we feel that they should be repealed by council.”

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Council Policy is defined as “written commitment and direction of Council regarding matters of governance, public services, programs and standards of performance for the Town, based on Council’s values, priorities and strategic direction.” Administrative Policy is defined as “written policies that have been approved by the Town Manager that focus on operational matters and administration of the Town within the authority granted by the Municipal Government Act, bylaws and policies of Council.”

Administration recommended repealing the “Over and Non-Budget Expenditures” policy and the “FOIP Coordinator” policy because they are both now covered in the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) bylaw passed in December 2020. The respective purposes of the two policies are to identify how expenditures not in the budget are authorized and to allow the Head for the Town of Stony Plain, as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), to delegate in writing to any person any duty, power or function of the Head.

Both the “Vehicles” policy and the “Subdivision and Development Appeal Board Minutes and Agendas” policy were determined to be administrative in nature and recommended for repeal as an Administrative Policy and Legislative Services Procedure respectively. The purpose of these policies is to regulate and encourage responsible use of Town vehicles and to regulate the compilation of and presentation of Subdivision and Development Appeal Board agendas and minutes.

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Lastly, administration determined that the “Municipal Planning Commission Minutes and Agendas” policy was no longer required because the MPC has been discontinued. Its purpose was to regulate the compilation and presentation of MPC agendas and minutes.

“I think this is a continuation of things that we’ve been doing over the last several council meetings,” said Councillor Bruce Lloy. “I really like what our senior administration is doing taking the time to look and get rid of some of these things that sit on the books. It’s like an old law that’s really not applicable anymore.”

Mayor William Choy agreed with Councillor Lloy that it is beneficial to clear out old policies. He even challenged administration to work harder to find and bring forward those that are no longer relevant. After recently speaking with Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland who said that his council repeals an old policy every time a new one is passed, Mayor Choy said he would like to implement a similar practice in Stony Plain.

“That makes members of administration work a little harder to figure out what is relevant and what is not. As members of council can see, we have policies that are well overdue in terms of adequate review. So, I look forward to having more of these come through as we clean up our own policies and bylaws.”

rhowell@postmedia.com @rudyhowellrepex

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