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Alderman Challenges Arts Centre Contract


LETHBRIDGE: A local alderman says he'd like to see the reworking of an "outdated" policy that could be breaking the rules. Ald. Jeff Coffman calls the process for awarding some management contracts automatically to certain community groups "behind the times."

"The fact that we're dealing with a policy that began in 1971 means it's time to look at the city differently," said Coffman. "We're almost 88,000 people now, so perhaps it's time to act a little more like that." Coffman's concern is that some community groups seem unfairly favoured over others, when it comes time to choosing who should run certain city facilities. The latest example he singled out was the Allied Arts Council's election to run the new community arts centre. Coffman had entered a resolution on Monday's agenda which basically said the untendered bestowment of the management contract to the arts council went against the "Summary of Fiscal Principles, Practices and Policies" for the City of Lethbridge. Consequently, he wanted the City to dissolve the partnership and open bidding on the contract to all.

"I'm still not comfortable with the process through which we create these community partnerships because I do find them still exclusionary for outside interests and new people moving to the community," Coffman said after he dropped his resolution, due to an 11th hour promise from the arts council to improve their management practices, starting with a much quicker deadline for a management plan. "But that's something that we can work on in a much broader and much general sense instead of looking at something specific like a new community arts centre."

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 4/17/2014 8:23:17 PM
Source: Marion Warnica, Country 95 News -- photo by Country 95 News
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