by Tristan Turner
Morinville Council has requisitioned $30,000 for the Morinville Community Library to conduct an external organizational review. This decision came following a presentation to council from Jen Anheliger, Chair of the Morinville Library Board reporting on their plans for a full external review of their operations and services.
The library and council had both been interested in conducting this review. Anheliger shared that evening that it is intended to examine the libraries policies, procedures, staff, and municipal funding rates. It will include workshops and interviews with staff, management/board and council, as well as a review of all internal library documents, among other things.
Funding this project was a major component of council’s 2018 budget deliberations.
Although funded primarily by the Town of Morinville, the library is an autonomous organization run by a board under the Libraries Act. The review was not included in the 2018 budget after much debate. Many on council at the time acknowleded that it was not proper to allocate funding to the library and dictate for how that body was supposed to spend it.
Instead, at that time, council agreed that if the library board came to council with a request to fund that review, they could discuss the matter then.
Anheliger shared that the library board had already received a quote from one firm willing to conduct the review at a cost of $29,547 (after tax), and that she was expecting to receive new quotes from two other companies by the end of the week. The board will then select which firm they support best, with CAO Labonne having some input on the decision.
Councillor Sarah Hall made a motion to approve the funding of a review up to an amount of $30,000, and council supported that motion with only Councillor Lawrence Giffin opposing.
Giffin made a comment that evening indicating that he didn’t necessarily oppose the project, but he asked: “wouldn’t it be better to wait and see which proposals come forward [from consulting firms]?”
Because this amount was not budgeted in the 2018 budget, Administration will have to, in the words of CAO Labonne, “find the money” for the project. The administration will report back to council at their May 8th meeting with a report on where the funding will be allocated from, and which firm the library board and Labonne have selected, and at what cost.
I disagree with the Town of Morinville Council approving the $30,000 for the organizational review. That $30,000 will come from the taxpayers and I do not think this is appropriate.