June 19th, 2024

Council defeats integrity commissioner proposal

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on April 6, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The hiring of an integrity commissioner for the city has been nixed by Lethbridge city council.
By a 6-2 vote on Tuesday, council declined to give first reading to a motion that failed to get past its Governance Standing Policy Committee.
A 2-2 split vote at that committee resulted in a defeat of a motion calling for first reading of a bylaw to amend the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.
On Tuesday, Belinda Crowson who has assumed the role of acting mayor, urged her fellow council members to give first reading to the motion but after debate, council declined.
Council subsequently unanimously passed a motion by councillor Rajko Dodic to rescind all matters related to an integrity commissioner.
Under the defeated plan, if hired an integrity commissioner would have been given a monthly retainer of $2,000 and be paid an hourly rate of $200 during a two-year pilot program with maximum compensation of $50,000 which would come from city council surplus.
In February, city council tasked the committee with further investigating the possibility of creating such a position.
Under the existing code of conduct bylaw, only council members can file a complaint that a fellow member has acted in breach of that bylaw.
A report from administration says that opening complaints up to the public could create better transparency and increase public confidence in government. Both Edmonton and Calgary have full-time integrity commissioners.

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