Cranbrook council followed city staff’s recommendation that council not enter into a recently proposed memorandum of understanding entitled “Cranbrook Urban Governance Collaborative.”
The memorandum was proposed by the Ktunaxa First Nation Council.
Cranbrook Councillor Gerry Warner noted during the Dec. 9 council meeting that in the background report, it says Cranbrook already has a memorandum of understanding with the Ktunaxa.
“This is redundant, then, and I think we have a good working relationship too,” he said.
CAO Wayne Staudt explained city staff’s concerns around the memorandum.
One is that the memorandum doesn’t just detail how they would work together. One of the big issues staff has is with the vision statement, which talks about funding.
“Their concern is that funding will be cut off, because they primarily rely on grants from the senior governments,” Staudt said. “Their mission statement clearly states that funding will be a high priority for them.
“When it comes to funding, we have the source and ability to tax, we could be outvoted and of course, then council will not get the opportunity to decide whether to fund or not.”
Staff warned that the statements in the draft MOU could potentially undermine council’s authority to set the policy within the city for funding, administration and delivery of municipal services. It could also obligate the city to support funding of non-municipal services.
There would need to be a discussion amongst council before deciding on signing such an MOU since he said the city doesn’t offer many of those non-municipal services it asks for, such as healthcare, medical services, First Nations services.
“Currently we don’t have any department or staff that would be providing any of those services,” he said “The bigger question, before you get into any of this, is: is the city prepared to get into these type of services? Because right now we certainly don’t provide any of those services.”
Staudt said that many of the organizations that would participating in this MOU are already funded to some degree through grants to organizations.
“I think that is an opportunity on an annual basis to decide how much they want to provide to an organization on an annual basis like the Boys and Girls Club, Cranbrook Community Living or things like those,” he said.
Council voted unanimously to not enter into the agreement.