Big Valley village council decided they want a further investigation done on remuneration after the mayor said a previous decision may have been incomplete. The decision was made at the Oct. 12 regular meeting.
Mayor Clark German began the discussion by stating a decision a few weeks ago to boost councillor’s rate of pay for travel may have been incomplete.
He stated councillors made that decision with “partial information” and no “request for decision” (RFD) came from the chief administrative officer (CAO). German also stated he began discussion on travel pay rates at that time based on his own research.
The mayor continued that the process to change such rates should have involved a staff report that included an RFD so council could make the best decision, and he felt the same way about all other parts of the village’s remuneration policy.
German suggested staff conduct research into remuneration for municipal councillors in other communities and present results in a report to council to ensure a fair and equitable comparison is made between Big Valley and other communities.
Councillors unanimously approved a resolution that village staff would investigate council remuneration in other communities and provide councillors with a written report that may be discussed at a future meeting.
Councillors unanimously approved two Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) requests from Big Valley service groups.
The first request was for the Big Valley Christmas in the Village event, which requested $1,500 in funds for the annual event.
It was noted this event involves a number of different groups and offers activities for seniors and youth, events at the train museum, plus a dinner at the community hall with live entertainment.
Mayor German stated he liked this event, which was a great way to bring the Big Valley community together. Councillors approved this request.
They also read a letter from the Big Valley Ladies Community Club requesting $500 in FCSS funds to help support the non-profit society’s work around the village.
Coun. Dan Houle reminded his peers that FCSS funds can only be used for certain activities. Coun. Amber Hoogenberg, examining the letter, observed it looked like the ladies club supports a lot of youth activities.
CAO Colleen Mayne noted groups who receive FCSS funds must report back later on how the money was spent and as far as she knew such funds do not roll over into the next year.
Mayor German asked Mayne to prepare a regular report for councillors quoting available FCSS funds.
Reviewing bylaws, policies
Mayne reported she has been in Big Valley’s CAO chair for six weeks now and felt warmly welcomed by the community. She noted she’s reviewing bylaws and policies to become more familiar with them.
She stated over the past six weeks she handled one dog-at-large complaint; she spoke to the pet owner and all appears to be resolved.
She noted she also received a complaint about shrubs on private property growing out into a public alley and that issue is being investigated.
German responded he’d like to see a complaint log kept so councillors can learn more about what’s being talked about in the village.
Mayne noted the village’s 2022 year end is a bit behind schedule and the provincial government, which granted some extensions, will not grant any more.
Councillors accepted Mayne’s report as information.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Oct 30, 2023 at 08:45