Skip to content

TBM to review limitations on councillors attending conferences

Loosening of current policy would allow councillors to attend more training sessions and conferences
Town Hall
The Blue Mountains Town Hall

The Blue Mountains is going to review the annual limitation that members of council may attend only two conferences/seminars per year.

At council’s meeting on March 27, CAO Shawn Everitt said he would be preparing a report on the matter. The current policy requires council permission for a member to attend more than two conferences/seminars in a calendar year. The review was prompted by a request from Coun. Paula Hope for council’s permission to attend the Association of Municipalities of Ontario advanced land-use planning training for elected officials on May 3 at a cost of $300.

Both Everitt and Mayor Andrea Matrsovos acknowledged that there is a difference between conferences and training seminars.

The mayor called it an “apples and oranges” comparison.

“It would be good to look at this in advance,” said Matrosovs.

The CAO said he envisions a “council leadership” line in the budget that would include funding for seminar costs, as well as travel and accommodation if necessary. He said the council reserve had sufficient funding to accommodate such a change.

“It would give councillors the opportunity to look at these types of courses,” said Everitt, who added that he would reach out to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario about the possibility of having a training seminar done locally, perhaps in cooperation with other local municipalities.

Hope, who chairs the planning portion of council’s committee of the whole meetings, said she has already taken the initial planning course and would like to continue with more training.

“We all win when our councillors are as well educated as possible,” she said.

Everitt said he would have a report on the matter for council’s consideration in short order. Council unanimously voted in favour of Hope’s request to attend the seminar.

Reader Feedback

About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more