Regular town council meetings in Ponoka are soon going to be recorded.
Council, with councillor Tim Falkiner absent, approved during their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 12 the spending of $300 on digital recording equipment and a process by which anyone can request access to the recordings.
Chief administrative officer (CAO) Albert Flootman explained that other municipalities that employ the system Ponoka is considering find it quite effective with good reviews about the quality and ability to manage it along with the audio files created.
The system, recommended by the town’s information technology department, consists of a portable digital recorder and two microphones that allow for sound to be picked up in a 60×60 foot range. Flootman added the fact its portable makes it perfect for council’s current situation, with not having a permanent meeting location, as well as the ability for it to be used elsewhere or for something else if/when council has a permanent set up.
Recordings will be held for 30 days following the approval of those meeting’s minutes, which typically occurs at the following meeting. After that time, the recordings will be deleted.
Permission to listen to the recording before the minutes are approved would only be allowed for town staff and members of council, though staff would need CAO approval while council members would simply have to submit a written request with a reason stated for wanting access.
Councillor Marc Yaworski expressed concern about having to provide a reason to listen to the recording prior to the minutes being approved. However, both Flootman and Mayor Rick Bonnett believed there would be no reason to deny that type of request and councillor Teri Underhill stated one could simply state they wanted to listen to it as a reason since the policy doesn’t state what could or could not be listed.
A formal opening of the new bridge, complete with a ribbon cutting and community barbecue, was approved by council. The party on the bridge will take place the day prior to it being opened to traffic – expected to be sometime during the first two weeks of August – and will see two locals, one youth and one long-time resident, perform the ribbon cutting alongside the mayor with speakers to talk about the history and significance of the old bridge.
Sandra Smith, the town’s communication manager, presented the idea along with a contest to name the new bridge at the meeting, both of which were accepted unanimously.
More details about the event will be decided upon when the paving and other finishing touches are completed.
Meet the ministers
Council has decided that getting together with Brian Mason, Alberta’s Transportation and Infrastructure minister, is the highest priority they have when they head to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention in October.
Talks on enhancements of several intersections are among the top issues Ponoka would like to see resolved, while other ministries they want to chat with include energy, municipal affairs, economic development and advanced education.