Sackville will be rep­re­sented at an­nual FCM con­fer­ence

Coun­cil­lor stresses im­por­tance of send­ing del­e­gates who will ‘do the best job’


The mayor and two of Sackville’s vet­eran town coun­cil­lors will head to Que­bec City this spring to take part in a na­tional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­fer­ence.

Town coun­cil re­cently ap­proved the trip and as­so­ci­ated ex­penses for Mayor John Higham and coun­cil­lors Bruce Phin­ney and Michael Tower to at­tend the Fed­er­a­tion of Cana­dian Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties (FCM) an­nual con­fer­ence from May 30 to June 2, in­clud­ing costs for reg­is­tra­tion, mileage, ho­tel, per diems and meals. Those at­tend­ing must re­port back to coun­cil on con­fer­ence events and work­shops.

Al­though all coun­cil­lors voted in favour of the del­e­gates at­tend­ing this year’s con­fer­ence, Coun. Bill Evans pointed out coun­cil needs to more se­ri­ously con­sider how to en­sure it is send­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives who will get the most out of the work­shops and the net­work­ing.

“Rather than think­ing of at­ten­dance at a con­fer­ence as an en­ti­tle­ment that ev­ery­one gets a turn at, we might con­sider de­cid­ing among our­selves who the most ap­pro­pri­ate per­son to send would be,” said Evans, “And we could send the del­e­gate that we think will do the best job in terms of at­tend­ing stuff and bring­ing back in­for­ma­tion and shar­ing it with the rest of coun­cil.”

The FCM an­nual con­fer­ence of­fers an ar­ray of keynote speak­ers, panel dis­cus­sions, work­shops, study tours and a trade show.

Evans said th­ese con­fer­ences are not to be taken lightly.

“This is work. This is a job we’re do­ing on be­half of the town and I don’t think it’s good enough for coun­cil­lors to just go and come back and pro­duce a less than ful­some re­port.”

Coun. An­drew Black agreed, say­ing that’s why the af­ter-con­fer­ence re­ports are in­cluded as part of the agree­ment in at­tend­ing.

“It is manda­tory to re­port on what you’ve done, your at­tend- ance, what you’ve dis­cov­ered, what might be help­ful that would ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity or fel­low coun­cil­lors or staff,” said Black. “So I think it should be stressed that there is ad­e­quate re­port­ing back to coun­cil and ac­count­abil­ity for things like this, con­sid­er­ing how much money it does cost to send coun­cil­lors to th­ese events.”

Coun. Bruce Phin­ney also sug­gested per­haps it might be ben­e­fi­cial for town man­agers to also re­port back when they re­turn from con­fer­ences.

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