Okotoks Town Council has approved changes to Public Advisory Committees in an effort to improve community influence in the town's decision-making processes.

Elaine Vincent, Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Okotoks, says the goal is to improve the town's relationship with residents and have them directly linked to decisions.

"That policy was really focused on developing a new relationship with the community. finding a way to listen to them, hear their concerns, and ensure that when we're designing programs, or council is determining which programs we should be involved in, that we've got a direct link to the community," she said.

Vincent adds these changes aim to help organizations achieve goals in a faster, more efficient manner, and brought forward an additional recommendation from Town Council.

"When you have something incredibly important that you need public input on, you create a task force. You know what the job is, you go do the job, and then you work on the implementation together. That's how we've tried to change things. Rather than being an arm of government, its got a short term, very specific focus, that they can help the organization achieve the results the public is looking for," she said.

Key priorities in the Public Participation Policy, which was approved in January 2018, meant a change in direction was necessary to move this policy forward.

Council also approved discontinuing the Post-Secondary Education, Culture Parks and Recreation, Public Safety and Security, Economic Development and Brand Leadership Committees.

The Family Community and Support Services, United Way/Okotoks partnership, and Finance and Audit Committees were re-categorized to support greater decision- making authority.

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