I'm hitting the road shortly for a quick trip to Red Deer. AUMA is hosting a President's Summit on the future of Local Governance and I'll be representing the City of Grande Prairie.
The name "President's Summit" adds a lot of gravitas to and event, and in this case at least it's well deserved as we'll be discussing some very important issues that have the potential to shape the future of local government in Alberta. Here's the description from the AUMA website:
"This two-day event is designed to help municipally elected officials, senior administration, community leaders and other stakeholders explore the future of local governance. Participants will learn from speakers and experts, from both inside and outside the province, about Alberta municipal governance (Alberta municipalities), with a goal of building AUMA’s 2009 Policy Options Report on the Future of Local Governance."
The word is that the Provincial government is looking at updating the Municipal Government Act, but is waiting for input from this AUMA process and the 2009 Policy Options Report mentioned above.
Like any good event it comes with some homework so over the last couple of nights I've been digesting the background discussion papers.
If you want to read a pretty reasonable look at some of the most important issues facing Alberta communities today I really recommend the Discussion Paper (link to pdf) in particular.
So, I'm driving down today so I can be there for the morning start tomorrow. If the event was in Edmonton I might have flown and gone Thursday morning but with no direct GP to Red Deer flights that's pretty tough. On top of that I'll be heading home right after things wrap up on Friday afternoon - I need to be back to go to the Rotary Greenathon on Saturday morning. I'm glad I have satellite radio!