If there is one gripe I hear all too often (even if it isn’t the full and complete truth) is that the community doesn’t have access to Council, Town Administration or the Plans for the Future of this town. Case in point: Do you remember any public consultation on the new Intersection? I am not saying it didn’t happen….in fact it did happen….but the general public wasn’t aware or more likely simply didn’t care at the time. Communication and Transparency at the Town over the years has gotten a lot better but it still needs work.
Another issue is timing of meetings and council meetings in particular. They are scheduled at times that aren’t convenient for many. I would suggest we stagger meeting times so that at least one meeting a month is held in the evening. Technology, especially since Covid, has really opened up opportunities for everyday folks to participate and I am very enthusiastic about the opportunities here. The more people engaged in the conversation the better. Diverse, open, healthy communication benefits us all.
And my last point here. Council wages discriminate against too many. The base wage for a council member is $29,000 per year. Remember that a living wage in Canmore is $60,000. At the end of the day you get the wealthy, the retired and eccentric running for council. (You can put me in the last category) This job is demanding and we need diverse opinions and perspectives at the table. Anyone in town should be able to run for council and not have to have 2 other jobs to support that decision. Our Mayor is paid $90k+. Is the role of councillor that much less demanding? Should you do this job for the money? Absolutely not…but you have to be able to make a living. Would you take on this role for $29k per year? We need solid people doing this very important job and a healthy wage would help support that and not one that discourages. Did you know that Councillors are not entitled to Maternity Leave? It’s 2021….for real.