“He has some private business out of town that he couldn’t get out of, so I’m here on his behalf,” Cotterill said Tuesday. “We have a meeting this afternoon, then the mayors were meeting with cabinet for dinner and then we’re meeting again tomorrow morning.
“The city managers will be meeting later tonight when the mayors are at their dinner going over a number of issues,” he added.
The caucus meetings are held a handful of times throughout the year for community leaders to discuss common interests. The current meeting is the first since October’s municipal elections.
“Right now, we need to vote on a new vice president for the SUMA (Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association) Board on behalf of cities,” Cotterill said. “Then we’ll be talking about our growth, how growth is occurring (and) what some of the problems are with the kind of growth that we’re getting.”
Also on the table is the municipal operating grant, which is currently under negotiations with the province and other sectors.
“The biggest concern -- for all of us -- is how we’re going to pay for infrastructure problems,” Cotterill said.
When asked whether he and Dionne had met prior to attending the meeting, Cotterill said they meet on a consistent basis and have a common understanding of what to do on behalf of all cities.
“This group is a lobby group on behalf of cities, so we all have the same common problems,” Cotterill said. “As I talked about at council the other night, the Urban Highway Connector Program is one that I serve on a committee on behalf of the city mayors’ caucus.”
Cotterill wants the provincial government to better define the Urban Highways Connector Program, from which $7 million over the next five years would be required for Diefenbaker bridge repairs.
“I will be talking to the mayors and city managers around what sort of approach we want to take to dealing with the province when we negotiate how to improve the Urban Highway Connector Program,” Cotterill added.