Ambiguity leads to deferrment of delegation bylaw in Lincoln

By Tristan Marks

Lincoln Town Council deferred a decision on updating the municipality’s system for delegating authority at its meeting Monday.

Council was presented with a report which recommended expanding and updating the scope of authorities which council could delegate to staff.

The matter was being reviewed because the Town’s existing delegation of authority bylaw from 2007 was “not clear, transparent or accountable,” according to a presentation made by the Town clerk, Julie Kirkelos.

Included with that report was an appendix which detailed a list of specific duties and powers which staff suggested be added to the list which council could delegate.

Nearly every councillor, one way or another, voiced concerns with various items on the list, many pointing out either vague or unclear wording for the suggestions.

“This is huge and all of council needs to feel clear on this,” said Coun. Lynn Timmers. “I feel we need discussion on every one (of the listed items).”

Coun. JD Pachereva agreed with Timmer’s assessment.

“We need to be more specific with salient points,” said Pachereva. “Over-generalizations just aren’t going to cut it.”

Coun. Dianne Rintjema also asked if there was anything that could prevent council from revoking a given delegation, noting that the suggestion contains exceptions for delegations which “specifically limit council from revoking it,” without citing any specific examples.

CAO Mike Kirkopoulos said staff would sharpen the proposal based on council’s comments and questions for the next time it would appear in the agenda.

“We certainly need to clarify wording,” said Kirkopoulos.

He also stressed that, “we are not looking – in any way – to take authority from council.”

Kirkopoulos suggested that council attend a workshop session to better understand and help clarify the suggestions that were made in the report.

Council also received a report detailing new procedures for the Town’s procurement agent and policies, which they voted to defer for similar reasons.

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