WHEREAS local government jurisdictions that elect to dissolve do so by a public process and a majority vote of their electorate;AND WHEREAS when a local government jurisdiction dissolves it becomes a part of the adjacent local government municipality;AND WHEREAS local municipalities that take on these dissolved local government jurisdictions do not have an option for their own electorate to approve accepting the dissolving local government jurisdiction into their municipality;AND WHEREAS the local municipality that must accept a dissolving local government jurisdiction often experiences problems, as expectations are often different between the dissolving local government jurisdiction and the municipality which must absorb the dissolving jurisdiction;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to accept responsibility for the viability of local government jurisdictions within the province, and to oversee and handle all governance of any dissolved local governments, should such dissolution be unavoidable, rather than requiring the neighbouring municipality to assume such responsibilities.
Alberta Municipal Affairs, in an attempt to improve its understanding of the dissolution process, engaged Nichols Applied Management to undertake a Dissolution Study.The survey process took the following form within Kneehill County:October 30, 2000: Two questionnaires were received from Nichols Applied Management and completed (Administrative Information Requirements, and Reeve/Councilor questionnaire). These questionnaires were completed by the Reeve and the two Councilors from the Torrington area.November 28, 2000: In an attempt to improve its understanding of the skills and training needs and succession issues faced by municipal Chief Administrative Officers, part of the Nichols Applied Management study was to undertake a survey of CAOs to gather their views (CAO Further Education Training and Succession Planning Issues). A questionnaire relating to this issue was completed by Mrs. Jennifer Deak, Municipal Administrator for Kneehill County.December 4, 2000: The above Council representatives and Mrs. Deak met with Nichols Applied Management to further discuss the dissolution process, particularly with respect to how it applied to the Village of Torrington. The areas discussed included the need to have adequate information prior to the dissolution, different priorities of the towns and villages (e.g. Recreation), threat of amalgamation of towns and villages due to lack of fiscal responsibility, the cost of the dissolution to the municipality, infrastructure concerns, effects on reserves, and environmental issues regarding sewage lagoons.As a result of gathering the requested information and meeting with Nichols Applied Management, in an attempt to improve the dissolution process, Kneehill County made the following recommendations: the provincial government, not the County, should oversee and handle all dissolutions and continue to oversee all future governance of the dissolved municipality. Nichols Applied Management should meet with those urban centres facing financial difficulties to determine what they envision for the future.
The AAMDC has two resolutions currently in force which deal with issues related to the dissolution or amalgamation of municipal governments:Resolution 5-98F, endorsed at the fall 1998 convention, expresses strong opposition to any forced dissolution or amalgamation of municipalities.Resolution 2-96F, endorsed at the fall 1996 convention, calls for a written provincial commitment that forced amalgamations of municipalities will not occur.