Morinville Council Briefs

by Colin Smith

 

Revisiting defeated bylaws

Should it be possible for Town Council to revisit a defeated bylaw and pass it a short time later? Councillor Stephen Dafoe doesn’t think so and he has given notice he will move a motion intended to ensure that doesn’t happen in the future. Dafoe’s motion, to be considered at a future meeting, states that if a bylaw fails it cannot be revisited until a year later or unless a municipal general election has been held. The issue arose with the introduction of a mandatory face covering bylaw at a special council meeting November 13, a similar bylaw having been defeated at its September 22 meeting. The bylaw passed and remains in force until March 31, 2021.

 

Tax Installement provisions

Tax installment payment provisions introduced to help Morinville property owners cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic have been made permanent. At its regular meeting Tuesday approved the Tax installment Payment Plan Bylaw, which replaces the Tax Installment Payment Bylaw from 2005 and the Special Provision (COVID-19 Pandemic) Tax Installment Amendment passed in May. The new bylaw allows for property owners to pay taxes through a monthly installment plan. They can enter the program at any time, there is no down payment and payments adjusted to ensure all current year taxes are fully paid by December 31.

Committee Appointees

Barry Cowie has been appointed to fill vacancies on two of Morinvlle’s public bodies.  Cowie will serve a first term as a public member at large on the Community Services Advisory Committee, with his term to expire in October 2023. He will also serve a first term as a public member at large on the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, with the term to expire in October 2022.

Tax Recovery

Council has approved Option 1 of the tax recovery recommendations brought forward in a tax recovery briefing update it received in a closed session. It also voted to keep the contents of the briefing private. Reference was made to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Sections 16 (Disclosure harmful to personal privacy), 17 (Local public body confidences), 24 (Advice from Officials) and 25 (Disclosure harmful to economic and other interests of a public body) in justification.

Emergency Committee Report

The community didn’t see any incidents this year that required implementation of the Morinville Emergency Plan or activation of the Emergency Coordination Centre, according to the annual report of the Morinville Emergency Management Agency. The agency’s report, presented to Council Tuesday, notes that early in the COVID-19 pandemic some Alberta municipalities declared States of Local Emergency and activated their Emergency Coordination Centres. However, Morinville and all other members of the Sturgeon Regional Emergency Management Agency agreed that these steps were unnecessary in the region.

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  1. Bourinot’s and Robert’s Rules of Order have reasonable solutions to the question under consideration here, notwithstanding whatever by-laws that can be put in place to address the compelling need to address particular emergent matters or sober second thoughts.

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