June 14th, 2024

Term limits, end of stipends proposed for council members serving on boards


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 7, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge city council today will consider an official business motion by councillor John Middleton-Hope regarding term limitations for council memberships on its boards, commissions or committees.

The motion also calls on administration to make amendments to Bylaw 6125 – known as the Code of Conduct bylaw – to preclude council members from receiving additional compensation for their roles on council and external BCCs.

The motion states in part that “for members of city council to acquire a well-rounded understanding of the operations of several Boards, Commissions and Committees, it is important that members serve on numerous Boards, Commissions and Committees during their term in office.”

Middleton-Hope’s motion calls for council to direct administration to prepare the required amendments to the bylaws or terms of reference for the Lethbridge Police Commission and joint committee of the City and Lethbridge school boards “so as to establish overlapping timelines for city council members to serve for a maximum of three-year terms and a maximum of two council representatives and return to council by July 31, 2023 through the Governance Standing Policy Committee.

The motion also calls for limiting terms for council members on the Green Acres Foundation, Highway 3 Twinning Development Association and Lethbridge Housing Authority to maximum three-year terms and a maximum of two council representatives.

Middleton-Hope’s motion states that “city council recognizes the importance of a broad and diverse membership on all of the Boards, Commissions and Committees to ensure that the perspectives of our community are integrated into council’s duty to provide good governance, provision of services for the benefit of the community, as well as fostering the economic, social and environmental well-being of the community,” adding that appointments of public members have term limits “unless provided by council otherwise.”

In a recent interview, the councillor said “things like Green Acres Foundation pay up to $400 a month” for councillors to sit on their committees. The Lethbridge Housing Association board, which Middleton-Hope will be soon taking a seat on replacing mayor Blaine Hyggen, pays $250.

“I said ‘no, I’m not prepared to accept any kind of remuneration. I’m paid by council,'” he said.

Funds being paid to councillors for serving on boards are “taxpayer dollars. So you’re double dipping on it and from an ethical perspective – and I taught ethics at the executive level and the university level for 25 years – I don’t think it’s ethical to do that,” said the councillor.

“In my opinion, I think it’s inappropriate. I think we’re paid by council, by the City, to sit on anywhere from four to six committees. I sat on the police commission and we did at least 10 hours a month and nobody was compensated,’ Middleton-Hope added.

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buckwheat

That in camera before this one is going to be interesting. During up the vacation fund. Good for you John.

Montreal13

Yes and some of these changes are about 25 years overdue,.Thank you John Middleton-Hope.
Certain segments of society gained unfairly from some councilors being on certain boards for years and years and years.

pursuit diver

There should be limits for the non-profits, volunteers, and others serving on the committees and police commission on how many committees they can serve on and time allowed.
One person who serves on the police commission often sits looking board as presentations are made, picking at her nails and looking like she is out in LA LA land. She has served on other committees.
If you can’t pay attention to important issues then step down and let those who are willing to engage in issues have that seat!
Some councillors need to do the same thing! Serve or step down!