In June 2017, a delay of scheduled public meetings for the Regional Governance Initiative was announced. Folks in the region said they want to have enough details so that they can decide whether what’s proposed is better than the status quo. Since then, a group representing the Chief Administrative Officers from each community has been formed at the direction of the Flagstaff Intermunicipal Partnership (FIP) to develop these details. A 6-8 month time period is estimated to do this work.
Municipal Chief Administrative Officers from each community gathered over the summer months to collaborate on determining what a services structure would look like. This is the most complex part of the governance model because not all communities in the region have all the same services and/or service levels, some new desired services were identified in a community survey in 2016, and both range of services and levels of those services are directly related to taxation and economic development that positions for the future. This work also involves presenting some options for residents to consider.
Governance model details are being generated in four areas:
- Governance: Developing a governance model (boundaries/divisions) to ensure citizens are properly represented by elected officials.
- Services: Establishing uniform service choices and service levels for the region.
- Taxation and Debt: Balancing service levels with taxation levels while positioning to be attractive to investment and new families in future.
- Identity: Ensuring each community retains its unique identity under a new regional context.
After the municipal election on October 16, 2017 the following process related to the regional governance initiative will be undertaken:
- November, 2017 – orientation session for newly-elected officials. Get their feedback and/or approval of the regional governance initiative to continue.
- Spring, 2018 – Public input session(s) to present proposed regional government model details.
- FIP considers any amendments based on public feedback.
- Final Regional Governance Plan is publicized.
- Individual Councils decide how they want to proceed by making a regional governance decision (i.e. a yes or no to amalgamation).
- If there is a decision to proceed with regional governance, submit amalgamation application to Minister of Municipal Affairs. Note: A decision to amalgamate is voluntary. An application to the Minister may involve some or all of the FIP municipalities.