By Cole Parkinson
After previous discussions around the Municipal District of Taber’s Advertising Bylaw, councillors had the chance to put the bylaw in place.
After passing the first two readings of the bylaw, council were given final updates and information on the bylaw by administration.
“The just of it this is, Section 606 — the act requires a notification which advertisement needs to be undertaken. There’s a difference between advertising and a notification, when the act requires advertising, within the Municipal Government Act, the revisions of Section 606 precedence except where within the act states the method of advertising. There are a number of sections within the act that where it specifically states advertising in newspapers,” said CAO Derrick Krizsan at the M.D.’s regular meeting on August 14.
Council were apprehensive to pass third reading last council meeting as they questioned the move forward date when advertising online and in the local newspapers.
While administration preferred to have the date set on the day The Taber Times came out, council wondered about having it go on their website and social media immediately and having that date be the move forward.
In order to give council an idea of the traffic their website and social media get, they had their I.T. staff pull numbers from the engagements they have received so far.
“What we’re suggesting is, when we review some of the analytics in terms of the methods of advertising and analysis of use, as part of adopting Section 606 as a bylaw, council has to be satisfied that we’re reaching the largest number of people possible,” continued Krizsan.
Three examples of posts were given to council with analytics from their website, Twitter account and Facebook page.
From a previous M.D. bylaw adoption notification, they recorded 140 website clicks, a reach (number of people who saw the post at least once) of 775 on Facebook with 120 clicks and 310 impressions (times a user sees a Tweet in their timeline or search results) on Twitter with 28 clicks.
Their M.D. property tax notices had 35 website clicks, a reach of 579 on Facebook with 16 clicks and 724 impressions and 13 clicks on Twitter.
Finally, their Spring 2018 M.D. Connection newsletter had 48 website views, a reach of 568 on Facebook with 31 clicks and an impression of 373 on Twitter with 12 clicks.
The M.D.’s Facebook page currently has 1,633 likes, their Twitter page has 453 followers and they estimate they get an average of 60 views per day on their website.
According to their research, The Taber Times distributes roughly 2,400 copies while The Vauxhall Advance distributes 700 copies within M.D. boundaries.
Another concern is the lack of high-speed internet in various spots around the M.D.
From a 2010 M.D. of Taber study, they estimated 170 M.D. residents don’t have access to high-speed Internet.
Administration says that currently, using the local newspapers continues to be the best option for advertising dates, though they want to continue to develop electronic notifications.
“Continuing to use the newspaper as our standard for setting dates for public notifications. Having said that, we’d like to continue to develop and expand upon the electronic mediums. Part of that strategy is high-speed access in rural areas which is pretty critical. As well as continuing to develop mobile apps for our handheld devices which is increasing in use,” explained Krizsan.
Council agreed that they should continue to try and get their messages to as many people across the M.D. as possible.
“I think it’s our responsibility to get it out to everyone that we can. The more options the better,” said Reeve Brian Brewin.
A motion for third reading was made and passed unanimously by council. Coun. Leavitt Howg was absent from the meeting.