Coun. Andrew Prokop has been appointed as mayor of the Town of Taber following a resolution by town council at their May 8 regular meeting.
The resolution, made following in camera (closed session) discussion, states that in accordance with Sec. 163(B) of the Municipal Government Act, council appoints Andrew Prokop as the chief elected official (mayor) for the Town of Taber, until the office of chief elected official is filled at the next general election.
According to town administration, the motion was carried unanimously.
Former Mayor Henk DeVlieger resigned from town council prior to that body’s April 24 regular meeting, citing an inability to continue working with administration.
Previous to his appointment, Prokop had been fulfilling the role of deputy mayor. The 2017 municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 16.
In a follow-up motion, council resolved that in accordance with Sec. 152(1) of the Municipal Government Act, the five remaining councillors will be appointed to the deputy mayor position on a rotating basis until the office of the deputy mayor is filled at the next general election.
According to information provided by administration, the vote on the resolution was not unanimous.
The rotating schedule will be filled as follows: Coun. Randy Sparks (May 9 – June 15), Coun. Jack Brewin (June 16 – July 15), Coun. Joe Strojwas (July 16 – Aug. 15), Coun. Rick Popadynetz (Aug. 16 – Sept. 15), and Coun. Laura Ross-Giroux (Sept. 16 – Oct. 23).
During the in camera (closed session) portion of a public meeting, members of the general public, including the media, are barred from witnessing or participating in the proceedings or discussion, although all subsequent resolutions must be made in open session.
Alberta Municipal Affairs “strongly recommends” no formal record be made of the discussion or proceedings, as notes or minutes could potentially be accessed by the public as part of a FOIP request. The MGA sets out clear requirements for municipal councils to conduct their business openly, except in very limited and specific circumstances.
Under guidelines laid down by Alberta Municipal Affairs, as an elected body, municipal councils should avoid conducting business in-camera, that includes discussion of difficult topics such as budget deliberations, capital expenditures, tax recoveries, salary ranges or hiring of additional municipal staff, bylaw amendments, subdivision proposals, and “any contentious issues such as sensitive local issues.”