Joni MacFarlane – Crowsnest Promoter
Posted 2 months ago
Municipal council voted 6-1 to oppose Bill 202, which proposes the establishment of a Municipal Auditor General.
At the regular council meeting on Aug. 4, a letter from Foothills Little Bow Municipal Association asked that the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass support opposition to the Bill.
The MD of Willow Creek No. 26 has asked that the membership support their position of opposition by sending a letter expressing their concerns to the Standing Policy Committee of the provincial government.
Bill 202 proposes to amend the Municipal Government Act by appointing a Municipal Auditor General to “conduct random audits of municipalities and make recommendations respecting their financial statements and any systems or programs related to the disbursement of public money.”
In addition, the Bill would have the power to require a municipality to act on the auditor general’s recommendations and report failures to take action to the Minister of Municipal Affairs.”
The bill passed second reading and was referred to the Standing Committee on Community Services on March 16.
Councillor John Salus was the lone voice that supports the appointment of a Municipal Auditor General.
“I see nothing wrong with having auditors,” said Councillor Salus. “I’d have no objections to a provincial auditor to go over the running of a municipality, especially in financial matters.”
The MD of Willow Creek is concerned this legislation would add “another level of provincial bureaucracy that will do nothing more than undermine the decisions of an elected council.”
Councillor Salus said he sees the position as a parallel level, not one that would undermine council’s decisions.
The vote passed 6-1 in favour of supporting MD of Willow Creek’s opposition to the Bill.
Note: I believe if we would have had a Municipal Auditor General… to “conduct random audits of municipalities and make recommendations respecting their financial statements and any systems or programs related to the disbursement of public money.”… we would not be in the mess we find ourselves in today. The fact that we are in a mess and that as recently as two months ago council voted against this measure, speaks volumes as to how poorly managed we have been… and still are.
In addition, for years, I have made appeal after appeal to councils to have a ‘forensic audit’ done on our municipal finances, only to have it fall on deaf ears. Now, with the recent Corporate Review clearly stating we have serious issues with respect to our finances, I still do not hear council advocating for this due diligence measure to be undertaken? In fact, based on their previous decisions (see story above) I do not see this council being open and transparent, but closed and secretive instead.
Is it because they feel complicit with this mayor in getting us in the hole we are presently in (especially, those councillors serving more than their first term) and are scared what the audit may reveal with respect to ‘where has all the money gone?’, and how they have been duped and used by their Machiavellian Master?
If so, then this council is no different than the rest, despite their rhetoric, with respect to constantly keeping us in the dark on so many issues, by resorting to in-camera meetings and silence to do their dirty work in emptying the public purse (and so much more) and as such, will reap their just rewards come next election.
They reek with their smug arrogance and self-importance, but the time is coming when they will regret not being more transparent and more inclusive of those of us at the ‘grassroots’ level.
This mayor, council and the conservative establishment’s day of reckoning is fast approaching, and a new era of ‘people power’ will soon be at hand…
Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.