Letter: Morinville Budget 2014: Satellites and Sonar?

It was hot and humid in Council Chambers at the last Regular Meeting of Council on March 11.

Mayor and Council members debated the Budget during Third Reading.
Yep. Debated. With enthusiasm.

Some clouds, sunny breaks and the occasional solar flare.
There was agreement and then… not so much.
There was a healthy and courteous exchange of views.
Councillors had done their homework.
There was detail.
There were Big Picture perspectives from kilometers up… and pinging sonar to locate fuzzy details on the ocean floor.
Laser questions.

This was civil civics at its best.
Hard on the issues and respectful of the people… citizens, each other, and Town Administration.

The Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
Anchored to the bottom with a hefty $772,213.00 in annual operational costs for 2014.
(Data Source: March 11 Agenda Package/Town Website: Budget 2014: Table 7: Summary of Expenditures by Department )

Pings were sent out.
Councillors plumbed the depths.

This issue no longer quietly submerged.
How come so much?
What is being done?
A clear message was being sent.

Council wants answers.
Council wants data.
Council wants solutions.
I was over-klempt.
A little dewy eyed.
I blame the humidity.

This Council also took a stand at the February 25 Council Meeting.
They voted unanimously to allocate sufficient monies to undertake a comprehensive Organizational and Operational Review.
They were not persuaded to spin the review out over two years as recommended by Town Administration.
They would not be deflected.
The review was to be completed in 2014.

Ping. Pong. Piiiinnggg…
Message sent.

This Council wants answers.
During the first year of their new mandate.

Kudos to them!

Next challenge?

How to avoid the sandbars and coral when the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) go out for the Organizational and Operational Review.
Council needs to set the parameters.
Council needs to vet the proposals.
Council needs to receive the final report.

The value of any review is determined at the very outset by who is selected to do the work.
Council has the opportunity to select a professionally objective and fully independent firm like a KPMG or a Deloitte.

This Council wants answers.
This Council wants data.
Not only that… they seem to have an appetite for the right questions:

Why are we doing certain things?
How well are we doing them?
What deserves to be celebrated?
Are there efficiencies to be found?
What should be improved?
What needs to change?
What do we keep doing well?
What needs to stop?

An organizational scan from the top down and the bottom up.
Satellites and Sonar.

Some clouds, sunny breaks and the occasional solar flare.
We are witnessing governance in the public interest.


Was that a momentary twinge of optimism…
Or just the sciatica acting up again?

I’m leaning toward optimism… for now.

Yours truly,
Paul G. O’Dea
Morinville Resident

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  1. Paul – thank you well said with just the right amount of humour mixed in. Thanks Paul

  2. Paul you have seen the light and so has this council. If you are elected to lead them lead!
    This will indeed be a ver productive four years.
    Rocking Ron

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