Dafoe motion to record votes of council passes unanimously

closed session

by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent

Following a brief discussion, Council has unanimously decided to move ahead on recording votes made by councillors in the minutes of future meetings. This vote came following a notice of motion given by Councillor Dafoe at council’s last meeting to record votes by way of reporting the votes for those who were in the minority of a decision.

This change would return the practice to Morinville’s council minutes after being previously removed following changes in Council’s procedural bylaws.

However, at the May 23 meeting of Council, Councillor Dafoe changed his motion to record those in Favour, Opposed and Abstaining following advice from CAO Andrew Isbister and Mayor Lisa Holmes on the Town’s previous experience with similar legislation, and rules in the Municipal Governance Act that have been enforced in multiple communities.

Councillor Dafoe argued for his revised motion saying: “County of Sturgeon, Town of Bon Accord and St. Albert already do this… I think the public have the right to know how their elected officials voted on any matter.”
On this topic, Mayor Holmes that evening clarified previous statements she made at the previous meeting of Council on this motion, where she then commented that it may not be legally allowed for council to record votes, by saying: “I fully support the motion… At the time [when Council previously removed recorded votes] we brought in a contractor to improve the efficiency of Council because we were dysfunctional, to put it lightly… and we weren’t fully following a standard set by this Council that after Council decides on a matter, it is endorsed by all [of its members].”

Holmes went on to argue that while it may have made sense at the time to remove it, she is glad to support returning it as a practice, agreeing with Councillor Dafoe.

The motion passed unanimously, meaning that this change will be made when Council revises their procedural bylaw later in the year.

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