Guest editorial: AUMA 2010 report from Legal council

By Legal Councillor Phil Hughes

This Year the AUMA convention was held in Edmonton at the Shaw convention centre.

The AUMA gives elected officials in Alberta a chance to network, learn about programs available for their community, provide toolkits and resources to better their communities and allows them an opportunity to ask tough questions to provincial government officials about the decisions they make that affect the way civic politicians run their constituencies.

Amid questions brought up by some of the residents in Legal this editorial is a response to its citizens to provide transparency on the way their tax dollars are spent and to be accountable to those voters.

All councillors attended the education seminars and provided the town with reports that were submitted to the town office and are available for public consumption. These reports record the officials’ efforts at the conference and will provide other future elected officials an insight on what the benefits are to this event.

Some highlights of this event were as follows.

The Mayor (Albert St. Jean) asked about health dollars that directly affect our senior citizens and the facilities provided for extended living.

A toolkit was brought back to town to evaluate the town’s viability and future economic sustainability.

Information was provided to councillors which will allow them to better analyze and prepare the towns budget.

Heritage and collaborative society and the main street make over program was looked into to improve the fronts of main street.

Ways to reduce energy costs for municipalities was attended and ideas were passed on to administration that will save the taxpayers dollars.

Speakers from Ed Stelmach to Hector Goudreau who discussed issues of doctors in municipalities. These sessions allowed all elected representatives to understand the direction of the provincial government.

Many questions were answered and insights gained on future projects for the town.

This convention alone can possibly bring millions of dollars to a municipality and provide its elected representatives with invaluable information.

The voter has given us this task to speak on their behalf and with this comes great responsibility. An educated town official is an effective town official.

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