Coun. Claire Moglove wants councillors to keep their individual portfolios despite a warning from the author of city hall’s recent governance audit against them.
Moglove said the portfolio system, which designates one councillor to a specific sector, prevents councillors from getting too bogged down.
“My experience last term was we did not have portfolios and some councillors felt they were being spread too thin and I quote, ‘they felt like they had to be on top of everything,’” Moglove said. “It seems the whole point of it is to inform council on what’s going on in that sector.”
George Cuff, the author of a September governance audit who had some strong words and recommendations for council, sees things differently.
“What concerns me with portfolios is I find some members of council take them on as their personal ownership and (refer to it as) ‘my department’ and you’re undermining the department head,” Cuff said.
But Moglove is confident portfolios can work.
“I do think that based on what Mr. Cuff recommended that we at least need to have a discussion, a serious discussion, about our portfolio system…because I actually disagree with Mr. Cuff on this point,” Moglove said. “I think it can work but I don’t think it’s working to its best.”
Councillor portfolios were re-established by Mayor Walter Jakeway shortly after his election last November. In the previous term under former Mayor Charlie Cornfield portfolios had been nixed.
Jakeway assigned portfolios based on each councillor’s area of interest.
“We want results,” Jakeway said at the time. “They need specific tasks, so then people in those areas know who to call.”
Moglove agrees the portfolios do hold a lot of value.
Council agreed to review the portfolio system, as well as other recommendations made by Cuff at a future Strategic Planning retreat, to be held after budget planning wraps up.
Currently, Coun. Andy Adams has the finance portfolio while Coun. Ron Kerr focuses on Culture and Heritage, First Nations, and Tourism. Coun. Ryan Mennie has the Public Safety, School Board/City Liaison, and Youth portfolio while Coun. Moglove has the Economic Development portfolio. Coun. Larry Samson is assigned to Community Planning, Recreation/Parks, and Environment while Coun. Mary Storry has the Public Works and Transportation, and the Seniors portfolio.