Mayor Jeff Genung says Cochrane town council will be reviewing the impact of Bill 20 at an upcoming committee-of-the-whole meeting.

The bill will give the Alberta cabinet more authority over municipal councils and impact how future municipal elections are conducted.

Both the Alberta Municipalities and Rural Municipalities Association (RMA) disapprove of the bill, calling it a power play by the Danielle Smith Government which was drafted without properly consulting municipal officials.

Genung, who chairs the Alberta Mid-sized Cities Mayors Caucus (MCMC), says they took a different approach when they met with Municipals Affairs minister Ric McIver on May 21.

"We took a stance of trying not to be combative and really just being inquisitive. And I think that paid off because many of the other associations have taken a different stance and many communities have chosen to stand up and fight. At the end of the day, maybe we do share our voices in opposition, but we really wanted to ask questions first."

One of those questions centred on the elimination of the use of electronic voting tabulators for municipal elections. It wasn't sexy enough to draw headlines, but a move that comes at a financial cost to municipalities like Cochrane.

Genung says concerns like this can be addressed in the future.

"The minister did share with me that they can't afford to wait too long because yes, they want to incorporate feedback, but the later and the longer it takes (to pass the legislation), the less time municipalities will have to actually adjust to any of the changes that will affect us during the next election."

Genung says both MCMC and Cochrane will be taking a deep dive into the impacts of the bill and the regulation changes that will follow. From that, further feedback will be provided to McIver.

While Genung is content with the access MCMC has had to McIver, that feeling is not fully shared by other municipal government associations.

READ MORE: Mayor believes Bill 20 amendments step in right direction

ABMunis has found Bill 20 to be rushed and badly flawed, with little thought given to its long-term ramifications. It preferred to scrap the bill to allow time for careful consideration and consultation.

It says a pattern is forming of the government making changes to legislation impacting municipalities without any input from voting Albertans or community leaders. 

The RMA continues to express frustration over the sparsity of consultation in the few amendments made to the bill before it passed.

"We had a few very fulsome telephone conversations but as defined by government policy, actual consultation has not been undertaken by the RMAs perception and interpretation of what consultation is," states an email from RMA officials in response to questions asked by Cochrane Now.

"The minister’s statement suggested municipalities would be consulted more broadly and we were not even allowed to share proposed amendments within our organization. The RMA is an advocacy association that is empowered by our members but, we are not “municipalities” - just a conduit of information and collaboration."