Coun­cil wel­comes back Eby; op­er­at­ing bud­gets pre­sented City re­brand­ing plan also part of coun­cil de­lib­er­a­tions

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

Heather Eby might be the City of Moose Jaw’s new­est city coun­cil­lor, but she’s not a raw rookie.

Eby emerged vic­to­ri­ous from the re­cent by-election to fill the spot va­cated by Don Mitchell’s res­ig­na­tion, claim­ing 41.13 per cent of the 3,161 votes. As a re­sult, Eby finds her­self in a fa­mil­iar po­si­tion after serv­ing two terms with coun­cil be­gin­ning in 2009.

“I cer­tainly wasn’t ex­pect­ing there to be a by-election, but I al­ways had hope that I would have a chance at an­other election and when this came open in the spring I was ex­cited about it,” Eby said. “I re­ally had to think it through be­cause my fam­ily wasn’t com­pletely on board right out of the gate, but it’s great to be able to serve the cit­i­zens of Moose Jaw again.” Eby’s prior ex­pe­ri­ence came into play quickly – she was named the new chair of the per­son­nel com­mit­tee dur­ing her first meeting on Oct. 22 and had lit­tle dif­fi­culty set­tling into the ‘new’ po­si­tion. “I hadn’t been away that long and it just felt re­ally nat­u­ral to be a part of it all and get back into it,” Eby said, adding that prior to her first visit with mayor Fraser Tolmie and city man­ager Jim Puf­falt she was asked if she was there for her ori­en­ta­tion.

“I was ‘nope, not re­ally’,” Eby said with a laugh. “I just went and found the things I knew I needed and talked to the peo­ple I knew I needed to talk to and set­tled in a bit. There are some files and ma­te­ri­als that I’m not aware of so I’m read­ing a lot and catch­ing up a bit with those things, but as far as pro­ce­dures and pro­cesses I’m pretty com­fort­able with it.”

So, now it’s down to busi­ness – and once Eby is back up to speed, it’ll be time to once again face the decisions that af­fect the City of Moose Jaw, both large and small.

“There’s al­ways some­thing to work on, things that come up and need to be dealt with and I’m look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to have a chance to do all that again,” Eby said.

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Coun. Crys­tal Froese in­tro­duced a mo­tion that “the city man­ager di­rect staff to cre­ate a for­mal pol­icy frame­work that out­lines gov­er­nance re­quire­ments for third-party boards that hold agree­ments and/or con­tracts to stew­ard prop­erty and/ or land owned by the City of Moose Jaw.” The mo­tion came on the heels of the re­cent Down­town Field House and Fa­cil­ity con­tro­versy that saw three coun­cil­liors – Froese, Scott McMann and Brian Swan­son – all re­ceive vary­ing level of sanc­tions for their ac­tions while work­ing on the DFFH board of di­rec­tors. Tolmie sup­ported the mo­tion, say­ing the over­all ob­jec­tive is to ad­dress gov­er­nance is­sues that could oc­cur on boards with city coun­cil in­volve­ment and ways to en­sure clear and con­cise re­port­ing when it comes to board meet­ings. The mo­tion was re­ferred to city ad­min­is­tra­tion, with a re­port ex­pected early in the new year.

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Coun­cil con­tin­ued the process of up­dat­ing the city’s strate­gic plan, us­ing a re­port from the day-long ‘13 Ways to Kill Your Com­mu­nity’ dis­cus­sion ses­sion with Doug Grif­fiths on June 7 as a base for the im­prove­ment and re­vi­sions.

City man­ager Jim Puf­falt said putting op­er­a­tion plans and ob­jec­tives into place go­ing for­ward was go­ing to be a key com­po­nent for the process in com­ing months, with bud­getary ef­fects po­ten­tially re­veal­ing them­selves by year’s end.

“If there’s some­thing that has a bud­getary im­pact and we don’t quite have the stepsby-steps done, we’ll ad­dress coun­cil at that time,” Puf­falt said, adding that an ac­tion plan is ex­pected to be put to­gether in the new year.

Mayor Fraser Tolmie sup­ported the mo­tion to move for­ward.

“I think the com­mu­nity as a whole is happy with this and most coun­cil­lors are happy with the pre­sen­ta­tion that hap­pened,” Tolmie said. “A lot of the things since then we’ve been work­ing on and putting into place just nat­u­rally, but I think we need to strike while the iron is hot and not lose mo­men­tum on this.”

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Coun­cil re­ceived the op­er­at­ing bud­get pro­posal for the Moose Jaw Po­lice Ser­vice, which is seek­ing a fund­ing to­tal of $9,809,647, up 3.35 per cent from last year’s $9,491,247.

The ad­di­tional funds cover the wide va­ri­ety of cur­rent pro­grams, in ad­di­tion to a host of new ini­tia­tives that in­clude re­quire­ments sur­round­ing cannabis le­gal­iza­tion and in­creased focus on traf­fic safety and the MJPS’ on­go­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Miss­ing and Mur­dered Indigenous Women and Girls in­quiry.

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Moose Jaw Pub­lic Li­brary head li­brar­ian Gwen Fisher ad­dressed coun­cil with re­gards to op­er­at­ing bud­get es­ti­mates for 2019.

Their cur­rent es­ti­mate net req­ui­si­tion from the city is $1,199,591, an es­sen­tially status quo bud­get fea­tur­ing an in­crease of $38,275 to con­tinue to cur­rent level of pro­gram­ming ser­vice.

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