SUMMERSIDE – City council is moving to eliminate any question about the operations of municipal government by clearly setting out the roles and responsibilities of all staff.
Coun. Tina Mundy, chairman of the city's Human Resources Committee, brought the issue to council in January and received approval from council to authorize the city's external legal firm of McInnes Cooper to prepare a draft governance and administration bylaw that will establish the power, duties and functions of all municipal officials and employees of the city and will define the council/administration relationship.
Mundy said she had reviewed all policies that came under her role as chair of human resources and discovered there was nothing on the books dealing with this issue.
She is concerned that a lack of a governance and administration bylaw is a possible hindrance to the future of the city and could raise questions about government effectiveness.
The move came on the heels of a failed $1.3 million concert promotion that landed the city in court in San Jose, California.
On Monday, Coun. Cory Thomas asked if any headway had been made on the bylaw.
“We talked probably eight months ago about doing some research into an administrative bylaw that would outline the roles and responsibilities of senior staff and the chief administrative officer,” Thomas said. “Have you made any progress on that bylaw?”
“We’ve received a draft copy,” Mundy replied. “I forwarded it to my vice chair, councillor Jeff Sullivan. We reviewed it and should have something to bring back to council in the New Year.”
Thomas also suggested that a review of the city’s committee structure be undertaken.
“Maybe in the New Year we can have a debate on the committee bylaw,” Thomas said. “They haven’t been updated since March 15, 1999. That was quite a while ago. So, I think we have a need to that discussion as well.”