By Cole Parkinson
Members of the Taber Shooting Foundation board have proposed a change to one of their bylaws but needed Municipal District of Taber approval before making it official.
During the group’s AGM in late January, they passed a motion to change within Bylaw 1 Section 17. Elections, that members may serve on the executive for three consecutive terms in any specific position if they wish to stand for re-election annually and then may be nominated for other executive positions.
The current bylaw states ‘Members may serve on the executive board for three consecutive terms if they wish to stand for re-election annually and then must stand down for one calendar year.’
With M.D. council needing to approve this change, the discussion was brought forward for their regular meeting on Feb. 26.
“Does this go against the reason the bylaw was put in in the first place in trying to get new people into executive?” asked Coun. John Turcato.
“The reason it was put into place was if things go badly, there would be a way to have a changeover in the executive,” answered CAO Derrick Krizsan.
With the current wording around the bylaw in place to allow for new faces on the board, council wasn’t entirely sold on changing the bylaw.
“We have a functioning board there now but that doesn’t mean in the future it is going to be that way. At that point, I don’t think the M.D. can go in and change bylaws for an organization,” added Turcato. “Volunteers there do put in a lot of time and they are very dedicated. There are no issues there that I can see. I do see the original intent behind the bylaws.”
While both administration and council were in favour of turnover within the board, they also realize the people in place now have been valuable for the foundation.
The collaboration between the Taber Shooting Foundation and M.D. of Taber council was pointed to as a reason for the success the range has seen so far.
“All of the research that I have had and conducted when this process was going on was that small groups would control the association. This provision was put in place so the considerable public asset we have out there is not going to fall into “the wrong hands”. This association has worked very well because of the input from the M.D. and partnership between all of the groups out there. The executive is a very dedicated group and I think the success is largely due to this group of people that dedicate a good deal of time on a volunteer basis to the facility. It would be unfortunate to lose their skills,” continued Krizsan.
Council were able to provide their opinions on if they wanted to see the change go forward and some were more hesitant than others.
“It’s good for associations to turn over their executive and I would hate in two years for them to come back and say ‘let’s go four terms’. There does need to be some blow over here and sometimes people have to be forced to step up and take on a role. On the other hand, they work very well together,” said Reeve Merrill Harris.
It was pointed out again that it would be difficult to change the bylaw back if they allowed the amendment put forward by the shooting foundation.
“It’s working good now but in 15, 20 years it may not be. How would we go about changing it back once we do this?” asked Coun. Leavitt Howg.
On the other hand, there was a concern if the rule was still in place and no one put their name forward, there would be a problem.
With the volunteers already in place and having shown their dedication to the group, council also realized it may not be beneficial to have a forced change of board members.
“I’m reluctant to get to muddy into the number of terms because if they can’t get anyone, we’re in trouble,” said Deputy Reeve Tamara Miyanaga.”I get the rationale but we have quite a bit of control with this organization which we should when it is that kind of a facility in our M.D.”
“I don’t think they are asking us to change our ability to mend it, they are just asking for an extension to their term,” added Coun. Brian Brewin.
A motion was made to approve the amendments put forward and was passed unanimously.