39/20 Alliance Hosts Successful Annual General Meeting

The 39/20 Alliance held its Annual General Meeting in Breton on January 27, in the Breton Community Hall.  Several invited guests were on hand to hear more about the Alliance’s incredibly busy, and successful, past year.  Guests included MLA for Drayton Valley-Devon, Mr. Mark Smith, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont, Mr. Shaye Anderson, and several municipal elected officials from Brazeau County, Leduc County, the City of Leduc, and the Alliance’s member communities.

The Annual General Meeting provided the Alliance board of directors with an opportunity to provide information on the important work it had accomplished in the past year.

Mr. Terry Balaban, acting Chairperson of the Alliance at the AGM, made the following remarks:

At this, our Annual General Meeting, the 39/20 Alliance has a lot to celebrate.  We have accomplished much in the past year in our efforts to promote growth, reduce costs, and increase efficiency for our residents and businesses.

With the strong support of the Province of Alberta through its Regional Collaboration Grant program we have not only laid the foundation for future success but traveled down that road and begun realizing tangible benefits for the people we serve.

Our Regional Economic Development Models Study allowed us to examine varying frameworks for collaborative economic development, investigate their pros and cons, explore funding opportunities, and understand how economic development work can be measured.  The study allowed the Alliance to choose a model that suits our unique needs and ensures transparency for everyone and sustainability for the long term.

Our follow up Regional Economic Development Strategy points out our unique advantages, explains the fundamentals of investment attraction and business retention, and outlines in measurable steps the work that needs to be done within our communities to support our existing businesses while seeking new investment opportunities.

The comprehensive Shared Services Study undertaken by the Alliance has shown us areas in which our four communities may cooperate, providing enhanced service delivery to our residents while reducing costs and creating efficiencies.  A real-world example of that work lies in our recently adopted regional waste management agreement which provides for enhanced services within our communities while reducing the overall cost by working together and collaborating on procurement of services.  Other areas we may choose to cooperate on in the coming years include municipal software, development permit applications, community protection, and joint tendering and purchasing.

The Alliance’s communication strategy helps us better reach our residents and target audiences, and combined with our recently launched regional web site, provides us with the means of communicating to our stakeholders as we move forward on our important work.

The Alliance recognizes the critical and timely support of the Province of Alberta.  Using funding received from Municipal Affairs, the Alliance was able to take giant strides forward after years of discussion and planning.  And with a solid foundation having been laid, the Alliance is poised to continue to enjoy success, furthering its important work supporting residents and businesses in our member communities.  The Alliance though, is at a cross roads.  Without further provincial support, it cannot continue to achieve success at such a pace as last year, without unduly burdening the residents and businesses we strive to support and grow.  The Alliance communities simply do not have the means to generate the resources required to accomplish their shared long term vision without the support of programs like the Alberta Community Partnership program.  We want to take a moment to recognize the Government of Alberta’s ongoing commitment to supporting regional collaborations like ours, through the continuance of the Alberta Community Partnership Program.  Our application for 2016 will be submitted after the board reviews it later tonight and we hope to be able to continue to build on the incredible foundation we have just built.

We believe our results speak for themselves.  They demonstrate that, given the tools and resources to succeed, regional municipal collaborations such as ours can have a direct, bottom line impact on our residents and businesses, making rural Alberta communities competitive and sustainable for the long term.

As board chair, I commend the Alliance board of directors for following through on the ambitious strategic plan laid out for 2014 and 2015. The Alliance’s intelligent, committed, and bold board of directors’ guidance, deliberations, and decision-making have made our success possible.  I would also like to thank our member communities’ elected officials, for their support of our work, their desire to support our residents and businesses, and for their willingness to be bold and active in creating an environment for success.

I want to thank you for attending our Annual General Meeting.  We are pleased you have chosen to learn more about our organization and its important work.  We invite you to stay informed through our web site or to talk with us in person as we move forward on our journey down the road that we built on authenticity, fiscal responsibility, transparency, openness, and equality.  We have had a positive and impactful year and we will continue to be an economic leader, providing increased levels of service while realizing the cost-benefits achieved through partnership, in the years to come.

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