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RFD- 3718 Bylaws   Item #   9. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 09/23/2019  
Title:    C-1091-19 - Third Reading - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment - Time Limits - Frostad
Department: Corporate Services  
Strategic Vision Element: This topic relates to all three of the City’s strategic vision elements contained in Council’s Strategic Plan Related Goal:

Information
Request for Decision Summary
Administration is in the process of reviewing agenda and meeting management processes. As part of this review, an amendment to C-724-09 - Council Procedure Bylaw to implement time limits for individuals and groups presenting to Council, is being brought forward for Council's consideration.

Proposed Motion
That third reading be given to Bylaw C-1091-19 - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment, as amended. 
Background/Analysis
Council gave first and second reading to the Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment on September 9, 2019. It is now being brought forward for third reading.  The bylaw is being amended to address time limits for speakers/presenters.

As we are working to transition ourselves to a mid-sized city, the City Clerk’s Office is reviewing agenda and meeting processes in an effort to modernize and increase transparency, fairness, and efficiency.  The first proposal for Council’s consideration is the implementation of time limits for speakers/presenters during Council Meetings. As we are growing, the issues Council is being asked to address are increasing in volume and complexity, often resulting in lengthy meetings. Implementing a time limit for speakers is a procedural change that will improve meeting efficiencies and ensure fairness of process for the speakers, giving them equal face-time in front of Council. The current Procedure Bylaw does not set a time limit for speakers who present during Public Question and Answer Period or as delegations, which is unusual compared to other procedural bylaws across the province.

The proposed amendment would set a 5 minute time limit for presentations made during Public Question and Answer Period and during public hearings. Based on feedback from Council at the September 9, 2019 Council meeting, the time limit for Public Delegations has been changed to 10 minutes and there will be no prescribed time limit for Council Delegations.

A Public Delegation includes delegations that meet the following criteria:
  • Requesting funds of Council (eg. RCMP Musical Ride, Women Building Futures)
  • Community Groups (eg. Parkland Pickleheads, Spruce Grove Minor Hockey)
  • External Boards and Committees (eg. Chamber of Commerce, Meridian Housing Foundation)
  • Motive / Awareness Issues (eg. AltaLink advising of power line changes, CN advising closing railway)
A Council Delegation includes delegations that meet the following criteria:
  • Contractual obligation to report to Council (eg. RCMP, TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre)
  • Legislative requirement to report to Council (eg. FCSS, City Centre Business Improvement Area Board)
  • Internal Boards and Committees (eg. Spruce Grove Public Library Board, Council Remuneration Task Force)
  • Intergovernmental Groups (eg. MLA, Municipal Affairs, Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board)
By differentiating between Public Delegations and Council Delegations a balance is achieved between ensuring there is increased efficiency and fairness of process for speakers, while still acknowledging that some delegations are directly tied to Council and require greater leeway to ensure Council is fully apprised of the issues that directly affect their governance role.

Public Delegations may enhance their presentations by providing a supplemental report and/or PowerPoint presentation in advance, or by circulating copies during the meeting, ensuring that 10 minutes to make an argument or present on an issue is sufficient time. 

As the structure and content of the agenda is governed through Administrative Procedure 6,012 Agenda Preparation and Approval Procedure - Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings, few changes are required to the procedural bylaw in order to implement this change. 
Options/Alternatives
Council may choose to reduce the time limit for public delegations from 10 minutes to 5 minutes, or refer the bylaw back to Administration to incorporate further amendments by making the following proposed motion:
 
That C-1091-19 - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment be referred back to Administration to incorporate Council's feedback.
Consultation/Engagement
Administration reviewed procedural bylaws from the municipalities of a population greater than 35,000 including the Cities of Airdrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Red Deer and St. Albert and Specialized Municipalities of Strathcona County and Wood Buffalo. The bylaws of our regional partners, Parkland County and Stony Plain were also reviewed.
 
The research suggests that of municipalities surveyed:
  • Eight municipalities set maximum time limits at 5 minutes
  • Two municipalities set general limits at 5 minutes and allowed additional 5-10 minutes for delegations (Medicine Hat, Stony Plain)
  • Two municipalities set time limits at 10 minutes (Red Deer, Parkland County)
Implementation/Communication
Upon passage of C-1091-19 - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment, the agenda format would be updated to include an agenda item entitled "Council Delegations", the City’s website will be updated, and the City Clerk’s Office will work to continually communicate the new procedural information to the public. Administrative Procedure 6,012 - Agenda Preparation and Approval Procedure - Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings will be updated to reflect the distinction between Council Delegations and Public Delegations.
Impacts
Implementing time limits will improve the efficiency and fairness of our Council meeting proceedings, and will align the City of Spruce Grove’s procedures around time limits with the majority of other comparable municipalities across Alberta.
Attachments
C-1091-19 - Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment - Revised
C-724-09 Council Procedure Bylaw - Redlined

City Council and Committee of the Whole agendas and minutes are posted on the City of Spruce Grove website for information purposes only. These agendas may be changed at the discretion of Council by the addition or deletion of items. Anyone reviewing the draft agenda should do so on the understanding that it is subject to change by Council.

All attachments are in PDF format, and require the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in for viewing.

Audio from the most recent City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings are available via podcast on the City of Spruce Grove website.



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