City Council approved the annexation negotiation protocol ahead of negotiations with the County of Vermilion River.
Previously, the motion was defeated due to concerns around council members not being able to observe the negotiations. Councillor Stephanie Brown Munro raised the point that council members ought to be privy to the same information on matters affecting the community. Going into council on February 25, Brown Munro says delaying the protocol would be harmful to the community.
“After reviewing the document, and moving forward from that, the delay in developing these protocols would be detrimental to the city and the annexation negotiations. So moving forward, it is in the best interest of our community,” says Brown Munro.
She still stands by the belief that it’s best not to have a majority of council on any one committee. However, given the circumstances, holding off on approving the negotiation protocol wouldn’t be in the best interest of the community either. Brown Munro also says the protocols are that way deliberately, as Vermilion River councillors have a great travelling distance compared to Lloydminster councillors.
“When you’re travelling over an hour an half, it’s different in our community. But for them, it’s not always easy for those members to make the meetings. Unfortunately, road conditions, weather, all of those things come up.”
As it stands, the approved annexation negotiation protocol allows for staff members from each side to be present, to provide information during the negotiations.