By Cole Parkinson
After a cancellation last year due to the pandemic, the Municipal District of Taber is moving forward with a virtual Annual General Meeting this year.
While the event has always been in-person, this year the M.D. has had to adjust due to COVID-19 — but with the ability to host an AGM virtually, they’re moving full-steam ahead.
Despite it being a different type of AGM, administration explained the benefits during council’s regular meeting March 9.
“It’s being planned in the context of doing it through a virtual session with the hope of also recording those virtual sessions, so they are continually viewable by those that may not be able to participate that actual day,” said CAO Arlos Crofts.
In administration’s report, it listed an infrastructure projects summary, Benchmark Assessments, financial review of M.D. digital platforms (SCAR demo, CampSpot software, service tracker, streamed council meetings), policy changes (tax deadline, recreation funding), council updates and a Q/A session — as potential talking points during the AGM.
With plenty of things to talk about, there was a concern raised around the length of the AGM.
“My only concern would be a virtual meet that is going to last more than an hour with a Q and A at the end. Those (topics) are all really great, but how do we keep them to five minutes? I’m wondering should we have two nights — where we touch on this and touch on that? I don’t know if that’s too much. But I feel like anything after an hour, you lose a lot of focus,” stated Deputy Reeve Jen Crowson.
A suggestion was made, as a way to potentially cut down on talking points — include videos that residents could watch that would fill them in on particular happenings across the M.D.
“What I’d rather see is we could touch on these, but have a link to a video that people could go to if they wanted because these are things we should be really showcasing anyways. Just tighten up what it is we need to prioritize,” explained Coun. Tamara Miyanaga. “We didn’t have one last year and there’s no excuse to not have one. It is to provide an opportunity for ratepayers to ask us questions. We know they can phone us any time, but it’s just a different comfort level.”
Miyanaga also pointed to the fact warmer weather would lead to less likely viewers, as many in the ag industry would be hitting the fields.
“The longer we put it off, the less I think we’re going to have participate because of the agriculture industry,” agreed Reeve Merrill Harris.
Crowson liked the idea of including video and said it could lead to a great opportunity to touch on a whole bunch of different issues without blowing past the hour timeframe.
“I never thought of having a video, but that actually makes complete sense. I think the nature of how it is now, if you don’t know how to do something, you Google it and there’s a video,” she said.
Coun. John Turcato also stated he wants to see a South Central Alberta Regional (SCAR) Notification System demo and introductions made by the new municipal staff.
A motion to set the AGM for April 27 was carried unanimously.
Coun. Brian Brewin was absent from the meeting.