Coun­ties cool to amal­ga­mat­ing with Ur­ban Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties As­so­ci­a­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The Al­berta Ur­ban Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties As­so­ci­a­tion (AUMA) is court­ing the Al­berta As­so­ci­a­tion of Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­tricts and Coun­ties (AAMD&C) how­ever, they might not be in­ter­ested.

Last week the AUMA passed a res­o­lu­tion that its mem­bers sup­port merger talks with the AAMD&C.

“We have a long his­tory of co­op­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the AUMA and AAMD&C. This vote from our mem­bers shows the com­mit­ment and be­lief they have in the value of col­lab­o­ra­tion,” says pres­i­dent-elect Barry Mor­ishita. “It is also very clear that the AUMA and our in­di­vid­ual mem­bers need to make an even greater ef­fort to build a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship be­tween other or­ga­ni­za­tions and our mem­bers. The re­al­ity is that the re­quire­ments of the MGA for mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to work to­gether will not go away and our or­ga­ni­za­tions will play an im­por­tant role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing these con­ver­sa­tions.”

How­ever, the pre­vi­ous week the AAMD&C passed a res­o­lu­tion at their con­fer­ence to the ef­fect that it is not in­ter­ested

Reeve of Star­land County Steve Wannstrom, while he sees there are ar­eas where they work to­gether well, he feels that coun­ties could lose their abil­ity to rep­re­sent ru­ral con­cerns.

“We can all work to­gether on things where we have the same in­ter­ests, but oth­er­wise, there are too many big dif­fer­ences that it would never work,” said Wannstrom.

“There is a lot of pro­grams we could work to­gether on, we have sim­i­lar in­ter­ests and we can get bet­ter pric­ing on things, but ul­ti­mately too many big­ger is­sues that we are too dif­fer­ent in. We wouldn’t have the vote, we would lose ev­ery time.”

Mor­ishita says what the res­o­lu­tion by the AUMA means that it will be on their books for the next three years and should the AAMD&C ever wish to ex­plore the idea, it would be open to talks.

He feels there is still a possibility.

“On the ad­vo­cacy side, I think there are some prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions to it. When the prov­ince has to deal with one en­tity when it comes to in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram­ming and fund­ing pro­grams, they don’t have to play one against the other, they can come with one so­lu­tion,” he said, adding he hopes they can get to the ta­ble.

“We think there is a lack of un­der­stand­ing of what we want to ac­com­plish. We don’t want to swal­low any­body or take away a ru­ral voice, when in fact a lot of mem­bers are part of ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties,” he said. “I think we have to work a lit­tle harder to get our mes­sage through.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.