Calgary

Outside mediator brought in to city council

An outside mediator was brought in to city council Monday to help smooth relations.

An outside mediator was brought in to city council Monday to help smooth relations.

The facilitator, who is also trained as a psychologist, was brought in as council went behind closed doors to talk about inter-governmental relations.

Some members of council weren't happy about the move, though a majority were willing to give it a try.

Ald. Shane Keating said the intent is to make council more effective than it already is.  

"Council is working well, we don’t always agree on every topic, but we accept whatever the decision is and I think that’s where we’re going. Are we going to be better because of professional facilitator coming in and working with group dynamics? I don’t see why not."

It’s the second time a facilitator has been brought in for a meeting since Mayor Naheed Nenshi took office.

CBC spoke to Bruce Wade, a human resources facilitator with Cenera facilitates, who said that rather than the move being a sign of in-fighting, bringing in an outside perspective signals participants are focused on getting results.

"They're really saying we need to get at this and not let those issues go unaddressed," said Wade.

"I applaud them and, frankly, the cost of having a facilitator there is minor compared to the cost of a disagreement or a lack of alignment and it can be caused by a variety of issues, the least of which is usually personality."

Wade facilitates meetings with a variety of companies and said most understand the value of an outside perspective.