Council Discusses Residents Only On Boards

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Should non-residents of the City of Moose Jaw be allowed to sit on citizen advisory committees, commissions or third party boards is a question that’s going to have to wait until the earliest mid-January. 

It’s a question which was raised last Monday night when Councillor Brian Swanson presented his motion to Council to end the practice. Councillor Swanson presented his motion after learning a non-resident of Moose Jaw is serving in a position he feels should be reserved for City residents.

That is unless City Bylaws already allow non-residents sit on boards such as the newly appointed Moose Jaw Municipal Airport Authority which allows RM of Moose Jaw residents to sit on that Board. 

“The City of Moose Jaw has numerous boards, commissions and third party boards ranging from the heritage advisory board, special needs advisory board, those level of boards have budget levels of a thousand dollars right up to the Police Commission which has a budget just over nine million dollars. I would have thought it would be a normal course of action to appoint people to boards that represent the citizens of Moose Jaw they be residents of Moose Jaw,” Councillor Swanson said.

“I have become aware of a situation where that is not the case and so I brought forward this motion. I believe if you are going to sit on a City board representing the citizens of Moose Jaw the argument should be you be a resident of Moose Jaw.” 

I would have thought it would be a normal course of action to appoint people to boards that represent the citizens of Moose Jaw they be residents of Moose Jaw
— Councillor Brian Swanson

Councillor Swanson went on to dismiss the argument allowing non-residents to sit on these citizen boards allowed expertise not available in the city that “whether we like it or not they should be citizens of Moose Jaw appointed to those boards, commissions or third party boards.”

Councillor Dawn Luhning asked if the entire issue be referred to until after a report into an earlier motion adding all Third Party Boards complying with Occupational Health and Safety regulations regarding harassment and Freedom of Information and Privacy legislation be complied with. The motion was made by Councillor Crystal Froese.

SEE RELATED - https://www.mjindependent.com/home/2018/10/22/froeses-initiative-referred-to-admin

“I’m not opposed to this. I think it’s a good idea to have residents of Moose Jaw contributing to the boards they’re on. I just don’t want to pass this and when we get to it in January and we determine something completely different is going to happen with these committees and boards. So I will just test the waters and defer that to that discussion in January,” Councillor Luhning said.

Asked regarding the timing City Manager Jim Puffalt said an exemption to the Procedural Bylaw appointing members was needed as the positions were to be filled by January 1st. Puffalt asked the deferral be until the report was completed by mid-January. 

In a 5 – 2 vote with Councillors Swanson and Scott McMann voting against it the motion was deferred. 

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