The Municipal Officials Seminar will likely be moved to Winnipeg for 2015, after more than 20 years in Brandon.
The annual event would then rotate between Winnipeg and Brandon, according to Association of Manitoba Municipalities president Doug Dobrowolski.
The RM of Rockwood put a resolution forward at the convention last fall for the AMM to investigate the possibility of moving the MOS to Winnipeg and change the date from April back to February.
“So we did, and the only time we could do it is starting in 2015,” Dobrowolski said, adding he expects another resolution will come forward to keep the conference the way it is.
RM of Rockwood Reeve Jim Campbell said April hasn’t worked well for some rural delegates, who often are fighting floodwaters at that time.
“Unless there’s a snowstorm (February is) generally a good time for them to come look at the displays,” he said. “Those of us that farm … can’t get away in April because they’re busy in the fields or at least thinking about it.”
Campbell said the delegates agreed with the date change, however they couldn’t book the Keystone Centre at that time.
“All our resolution asked for was to check and see if there’s those dates in February are available in Winnipeg, until the time opens up again in Brandon,” Campbell said. “It was not a slight to the City of Brandon.”
The MOS typically brings out roughly 650 elected officials and municipal office staff to take part in professional development workshops and a trade show.
Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said alternating the event between the two cities is fair. When the convention is in Brandon, that year MOS will be in Winnipeg.
“I think that the same rationale that we appealed to the delegates to move the convention back and forth, we have to be consistent and say yes, it’s also fair that MOS move back and forth,” she said. “It did pass resoundingly at convention, so there was obviously a feeling amongst the delegates that this was the thing that they wanted to do.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 5, 2013