The City of Leduc recently hosted a gathering of Northern Alberta mayors and reeves, enjoying some brainstorming, networking and some local tours.
The Northern Alberta Mayors and Reeves Caucus was held at Leduc’s Best Western Plus Denham Inn and Suites Oct. 16. The meeting featured 60 mayors and reeves from both urban and rural municipalities.
“It’s excellent to get together with your peers,” said Leduc city mayor Greg Krischke Oct. 19. Krischke said it’s always interesting to hear about the challenges facing other municipalities and how those municipalities are solving those problems. “Leduc was really happy to be a host.”
Krischke said some of the municipalities face similar issues to Leduc while others have different problems. He said it was interesting to hear from urban, rural, large and small municipalities and make acquaintances with other elected officials.
Krischke said at some of the caucus meetings the mayors and reeves examine certain issues and sometimes approve statements from the group. For example, sometime back the group heard from the “2-1-1” people and as a result of the presentation, the caucus approved a statement encouraging the province to make “2-1-1” service available across Alberta. The number connects callers to human and social services.
This time around the caucus heard a presentation from Danielle Larivee, MLA for Smoky Lake, who gave the mayors and reeves an update on the provincial mental health review. Incidentally, Larivee was also named Oct. 22 as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Service Alberta.
Krischke said the group was able to express disappointment no municipalities are on the mental health review, although professionals who are residents of the areas are members.
The caucus also heard a presentation from Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. Krischke said it’s nice to deal with someone like Mason because the minister has experience as a municipal politician and better understands the challenges facing municipalities. Krischke said Mason strikes him as a genuine person who is sympathetic towards mayors and reeves. “I like what he’s doing, actually,” said Krischke.
The meeting also included tours of the Leduc Recreation Centre and the Edmonton International Airport. Krischke noted the caucus didn’t approve any statements this time. The next caucus meeting will be held February, 2016.
The mayor said he was also very happy about the city’s toxic round-up held Oct. 17. He said when the round-up began Saturday morning, there were already about 30 vehicles lined up to drop off substances that nobody wants to see get into a landfill, including things like paint and old electronics.
Krischke said he feels pretty fortunate to live in a city where people understand how such substances can negatively affect the environment.
He said the city tries to make the round-ups as convenient as possible while raising awareness that residents have options besides throwing things in the garbage. “We’re being as proactive as possible,” he said.
While the round-ups now focus on residential users, Krischke said council would like to see more focus on commercial recycling, then onto the condo community.