By Tim Kalinowski on March 4, 2021.
City council was forced to cancel all remaining public hearings for the new Municipal Development Plan this week, and also the planned public hearing on the proposed Mustard Seed temporary shelter site at 110 13th Street South next Tuesday due to an advertising error.
City staff informed council at the start of what would have been its second day of public hearings on the MDP that it had published an incorrect online notice link in advertisements for the hearings which appeared in The Lethbridge Herald.
“While we do have other forms of notice, or opportunities for people to contact us, we believe the mistake we made in the publication of that ad is fatal enough we should, for the purposes of transparency and due process, cancel (this Tuesday’s) session and the next three days meetings as well, and next Tuesday’s public hearing scheduled for Mar. 9, and reschedule all of these meetings,” stated City of Lethbridge director of infrastructure services Doug Hawkins.
Hawkins acknowledged this error was an oversight on the part of his staff.
“I apologize for the error that we made,” he said. “It was our error administratively. We didn’t pick up on the misprint that was sent over to The Herald.”
Coun. Jeffrey Coffman wondered if those who had sent letters and other submissions to council for next week’s now cancelled Mustard Seed public hearing would have to resubmit as the public hearing would have to be advertised again basically restarting the entire process?
Hawkins said all those who have submitted and had been planning to present to council in person would be notified to advise them of the cancellation next Tuesday, but he didn’t think resubmission of communications would be necessary in this instance.
“I believe we can still in the context of those, because we have dozens and dozens of submissions for next week’s public hearing, I believe we can still hold onto those as part of the public record,” stated Hawkins. “But they will have an opportunity with the readvertising to resubmit if they choose as well.”
New submissions to council on the proposed MDP and Mustard Seed shelter site will also now be allowed up to the week of the new public hearing dates, which will be reset by council during next Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter