Sexsmith seeks committee members to keep town culture ‘sustainable’

·3 min read

The Town of Sexsmith is reaching out to residents to join the recently reactivated sustainability committee.

The committee is meant to help set an economic, environmental, social and cultural vision for the town.

Three to five members are needed in addition to two from council who’ve already joined, mayor Kate Potter and Coun. Jonathan Siggelkow.

“This is a very important committee for the town, and I think this committee is just as important as the (one on) economic development,” Siggelkow said during last week’s town council meeting.

The sustainability committee was established in 2009 and crafted the 2010 sustainability plan that included proposals for a farmers market, a Family Day event and more.

The committee was deactivated in 2018 after achieving many of its objectives, but reactivated by council in October.

Potter told the News she has spoken to numerous residents inquiring about the committee.

“We’re thankful there has been significant interest and people are excited,” she said.

“They want to ensure the culture of the town is maintained, and we won’t lose that as we continue to grow.”

The time commitment would consist of monthly meetings that likely won’t last longer than three hours, Potter said.

It’s also possible some matters may require research necessitating the creation of subcommittees, but she said she’s hopeful monthly meetings will suffice.

If administration receives more than five applicants, council will look at which applicants have the best sense of what would make a strong community, Potter said.

A cross-section of residents, including younger and older members and those from different backgrounds such as business owners and volunteers would be desirable, she said.

Potter said she would like to see members chosen before the end of the year so the committee can begin meeting in January.

Committee members will work on looking at the 2010 sustainability plan and start updating it within the committee’s first few months, she said.

After the plan is updated, she said members will begin working with different groups like Family and Community Support Services or the wellness coalition on programs or events, she said.

Sustainability committee members will also be paid for their work, at $75 per meeting, Potter said.

During last week’s meeting council debated whether committee members will be paid. Coun. Bruce Black’s motion allowing remuneration for committee members was carried with only Coun. Isak Skjaveland opposed.

Skjaveland said during the meeting the job could be done by volunteers.

Potter said offering pay for the sustainability committee isn’t meant to be an incentive to join, but rather to signal to its members the committee is a big responsibility.

Sexsmith also established an Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) this year to promote the community’s commercial growth.

Potter told the News recently the sustainability committee wouldn’t be redundant to EDAC, because EDAC follows council direction and doesn’t set any vision.

Applicants for the sustainability committee can submit their names for consideration by sending an email to Rachel Wueschner, Sexsmith chief administrative officer, at admin@sexsmith.ca by Nov. 30.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News