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Fort Macleod council sets date for community meeting

Fort Macleod residents will have the chance to speak to their elected representatives on Thursday, Jan. 15.
That’s when council will hold a community meeting from 4-9 p.m. at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
“I expect to see a lot of people there,” Mayor Rene Gendre said.
Chief administrative officer David Connauton presented council with proposed dates of Jan. 14 or Jan. 15.
“I feel that it is important this happen no later than mid month in January,” Connauton told council in his written report.
Connauton also offered input on the format of the meeting.
“I believe the main focus should be to garner feedback on the proposed capital projects so that council can make the determination on which projects are to move ahead,” Connauton explained.
“This will allow those projects to be tendered hopefully by the end of January.”
Coun. Brent Feyter said council should present information on the new strategic plan developed earlier this year.
Feyter also suggested Town of Fort Macleod departments such as Family and Community Support Services and by-law enforcement have displays with staff on hand to answer questions.
Coun. Mike Collar said people would probably prefer councillors sitting at a table at the front of the room, answering questions.
Gendre agreed the meeting should not be heavily scripted.
“Being this is our first one, if it’s wide open then the electorate sets the agenda,” Gendre said. “That’s what I prefer.”
Deputy Mayor Trish Hoskin noted the difference in the proposed formats and suggested there could be some middle ground.
“We can incorporate both ideas,” Hoskin said.
Coun. Gord Wolstenholme agreed, suggesting displays could be set up for people to look at during the first part of the meeting, and then having council answer questions later.
Coun. Keith Trowbridge also liked the idea of showing people what has been done and what projects “are on the go.”
“Let the community know we’re not just sitting on our duffs doing nothing,” Trowbridge said.
Collar agreed information should be made available on council’s capital plan, the strategic plan, the new business incentive program and by-law enforcement.
Gendre concurred but said there should be plenty of time allocated for the public to ask questions.
“I think we need at least a couple of hours of open forum,” Gendre said.