Province ponders longer terms for civic politicians
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks at an annual civic forum in Edmonton.
Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 5:02PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 27, 2012 5:04PM MDT
Alberta's municipal politicians will soon have an extra year in office to get things done if an idea that was floated at a gathering of civic leaders becomes reality.
The province has been exploring the idea of holding civic elections every four years instead of every three.
The idea gained momentum on Wednesday at an annual forum of civic leaders in Edmonton.
Many say an extra year would give them more time to see ambitious projects through.
Calgary's mayor says he was indifferent to the idea when he got to city hall but he has since changed his thinking on the subject.
“I've got to tell you that as I go into the third year of our mandate, wow it's really short, and I think the change being proposed by the provincial government actually will improve government at the municipal level so I’ve changed my mind a little bit,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
There is some concern that the change may give some undeserving politicians an extra year in office when voters are anxious for a change but Mayor Nenshi says he isn't too concerned.
"There are some that say it weakens democracy a bit because voters can't get to the polls as often but when it comes to the municipal level of government you're accountable every single day and there are certainly other ways we can be accountable to citizens without going to polls more often,” said Nenshi
The province is still consulting with groups across the province about the idea but hints four year terms could be a reality for next year's municipal elections.