Because of concerns over communication with the Kannata Valley (K.V.) Administration and Council residents petitioned for a public meeting which was held on October 17th in Silton.
Thirty-nine people attended, including the Council and Administrator. Attendees raised concerns over communication and other issues. Council committed to respond to the questions and concerns within a month and agreed to send out the minutes taken by the organizers.
On October 25th, K.V. council held a special meeting to address the questions and concerns raised at the public meeting. There were three people in the gallery that the Council allowed to address and ask questions.
Over 2.5 hours, the Council discussed how to address the concerns and communications issues raised. The meeting addressed all of the questions with the Council making an action plan for many items.
K.V. utilizes Facebook, email, a website, and a community poster board to communicate with its residents.
Residents had many communication concerns. After the Council looked at the issues, many appeared to be related to technical issues. Administrator Kim Downing agreed that the website was atrocious and relayed the issues she had when trying to post on the old website to the Council. Downing said she plans to put a proposal together for a new website for the 2022 budgetary year.
There have also been issues with permission slips that give K.V. the ability to contact residents. As such, the Administrator said she is building a new email list and sending out new permission slips to residents.
Downing acknowledged the issue with the Zoom broadcast during the last meeting. She said she plans to have all of the issues worked out in time for the next regular meeting.
Council also addressed email problems. Part of the issue they suspect has to do with the email provider and the councillors’ tablets. Councillor Tom Fink called the tablets a failed experiment and said he was very disappointed. Council discussed having an organized communication structure in place with emails for each Councillor.
New Councillor Bob Gordon said residents are concerned about not knowing what’s happening with K.V. money. After some discussion about the best way to inform residents, the financial information will either be included as an attachment or in the meeting minutes going forward.
Temporarily, the Administrator works one day a week in the office and three days from home with calls routed to her there. Council hopes to return to the previous schedule as soon as they are able.
The October summary the Council sent out to ratepayers said, “Council will send out to its public a formal written reply with plans and processes that it will follow. This reply will be done within the month timeframe stated at the public meeting. Council has committed to be a much better communicator with its public and hopefully the reply will show this.”
Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Last Mountain Times