Stettler town hall

Town of Stettler meeting highlights for Oct. 26

Incumbents were joined by rookie councillors Kurt Baker and Travis Randell

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

Stettler’s Town council met Oct. 26 for the first time since the general election.

Mayor Sean Nolls was joined in council chambers by returning councillors Scott Pfeiffer, Gord Lawlor, Cheryl Barros, and Wayne Smith, who all retained their seats in the elections held on Oct. 18. They were joined by rookie councillors Kurt Baker and Travis Randell.

On the agenda for the for first post-election meeting was the legislatively and annually required council organizational meeting. Because Stettler residents elects their mayor separately, at the organizational meeting the deputy mayor is determined, as are council committee appointments and the review of the council code of conduct bylaw.

Municipalities across the region vary in how they handle the position of deputy mayor.

Some municipalities though review the position yearly, have one council member serve as deputy for the entire four-year term. Others, such as the Town of Stettler, have each of the council members take the position for an eight-month term.

Lawlor did put forward a suggestion which would change that, however. His recommendation was to have the four councillors take a one-year term, versus six taking a shorter term. Barros disagreed with idea.

“I think it’s important we all take the role,” she said.

“It pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Everyone should be pushed to try it.”

Pfeiffer agreed as well.

“It gives everyone a chance to try (the position),” said Pfeiffer.

“It’s not onerous at all.”

After discussion, Lawlor moved to keep the status quo, which will have Pfeiffer begin serving as deputy mayor beginning Nov. 1 to June 30, 2022.

He will be followed by Lawlor, Barros, Smith, Baker, and Randell who will serve in the position leading into the 2025 election.

The committee appointments, reviewed every year, will be posted under the council tab of the Town of Stettler’s website.

Due to two new members joining council, and by extension the various committees council is part of, there is some change to the committee structure for 2021 and 2022, however where possible members who previously sat on committees were reassigned to them.

“(The committees) do appreciate continuity,” said Chief Administrative Officer Greg Switenky.

Fire trailer

Council has approved the purchase of a cargo trailer for the use of the Stettler Regional Fire Department.

The trailer, already approved under the 2021 capital budget, has returned to council due to the costs involved. It is also a shared expense with the County of Stettler, which they already approved at their October meeting.

“It would carry equipment that would benefit both the Town and the County,” said Fire Chief Mark Dennis.

The total cost of the trailer would be $47,400 plus GST, split between the two municipalities.

Once set up, the trailer would be used to transport equipment that would not necessarily fit well on any of the other fire trucks, such as hazardous materials and rehabilitation tents, cattle pen panels and other such equipment. The trailer would also be heated with a propane heating system, giving crews someplace warm to be when needing to get out of the cold on calls.

The total budgeted cost of the project was $50,000.

Barros motioned to approve the purchase of one-half the cost of the trailer, which was carried.

Fire department lights

In the spring, both the Town of Stettler and the County of Stettler approved the use of green flashing lights for volunteer firefighters responding to fire calls.

The announcement was made public via a press release and via social media postings at the time. Lately, there has been an increased awareness of the matter on both social media and on the local radio station, so council has decided to re-release the media release.

While the flashing green lights do not grant the firefighters any special privileges on the road, they are used as a way to let other drivers know that they are responding to an emergency call and on their way to the firehall.

Randell motioned to re-release the press release, as well as work on other avenues to increase awareness for drivers of what the green lights mean, including placing something on the Town of Stettler’s website.