Residents will have the opportunity for some face-time with Rocky View County (RVC) Reeve Greg Boehlke at two upcoming open houses.
“The people that elect you are the most important people in the county,” Boehlke said. “It’s important to stay in touch. [The open houses] have always helped me stay grounded.
The open houses will take place Sept. 3 at the Keoma Community Hall and Sept. 9 at the Beiseker Community Hall, and both will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Because RVC covers so much area, Boehlke said holding the open houses in Keoma and Beiseker allows residents of different areas a chance to come out and take part in the meetings.
“It’s basically just to inform people as to what we are doing, what is going on and what their concerns are,” Boehlke said.
Boehlke said he tries to hold open houses once every electoral term. Originally, the sessions were planned to occur in March, but with COVID-19, the dates had to be pushed back.
“I didn’t want to do it this late,” Boehlke said. “We are a little more than a year away from an election and I would rather focus on the issues than have it appear that it’s an election deal.”
According to Boehlke, the two evening sessions will follow a town hall format, with himself and County staff on hand to update attendees on what’s happening in the County. Boehlke said he will be available to listen to any concerns residents have. Refreshments and snacks will also be served.
He added people who attend the open houses are the ones who make the municipality function.
“From the turnouts I have had in the past, for the most part, people are very happy,” Boehlke said. “They appreciate the work we have done and if they have concerns it is a good way of getting them out there.”
Boehlke added the open houses may look a little different than in the past, as the County continues to pursue specialized municipality status. RVC is currently in the process of seeking the status, which, among other benefits, would allow the County to create residential and urban service delivery areas that are supported by different tax rates based on services provided.
He emphasized he wants to inform residents why the County is interested in becoming a specialized municipality and see what they think about it.
“There has been very limited reaction to this,” Boehlke said. “People have got a life to live. They put councillors in the position they are in to look after the business.”
Boehlke said the open houses will also highlight some of the successes RVC council has had during this term, but he added he is more interested in hearing the questions people want to ask the County.
“Who knows what will come up,” Boehlke said. “You just never know.”
According to Boehlke, the open houses will follow guidelines to protect attendees from COVID-19. He said there will be an attendance cap of 50 people and hand sanitizer will be available. Boehlke also said he will leave it up to attendees on whether or not they would like to wear masks.