Municipal Affairs Petition Draws ‘Huge’ Crowd

Municipal Affairs Petition

The Hillcrest Miner’s Club was packed to the rafters tonight with a conservative estimate of well over 400 people (seating capacity 160) standing shoulder to shoulder in the main section with many more still in the video game section and in doorways both inside and outside of the building. Parking was at a premium anywhere close to the club. In this regard, my wife and I found ourselves having to park two blocks away.

All this to support the Ratepayers in their drive to launch a petition to have Municipal Affairs intervene in the running of our municipality. Yes, I say ‘intervene’ and not for the removal of mayor, council and administration. It was felt by the executive, as Bill Kovach, president of the Ratepayers Association explained, that with less than one year remaining in this council’s mandate (10 months by the time signatures are collected (30 days) and the minister reviewing them (another 30 days) it might be foolhardy, or a stretch, to expect Municipal Affairs to remove these guys with so little time remaining in their mandate. But that they probably will intervene in the running of our municipality on residents behalf, provided enough signatures on a petition are delivered to them demanding this from them. Effectively stopping this mayor, council and administration from going any further with their planned agenda that has brought so much turmoil, bitterness and discontent to our community of communities.

As well as residents signing the petition, people are encouraged on an individual basis to email Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths directly at doug.griffiths@gov.ab.ca requesting this intervention.

Those who were not able to attend this meeting but would still like to sign the petition that will be circulating throughout the Pass can do so when approached by individual petitioners, or you can go to Gary’s Barber Shop/Marlene’s Bookkeeping in Blairmore and see either Garry or Marlene Anctil to do so.

Needless to say many, many people stood up during the meeting and voiced their concerns, opinions and advice resulting in a good exchange of ideas and suggestions. Even my blogging buddy Dean Ward took center stage for a few minutes and gave some passionate thoughtful opinions that gave one and all pause to think. Sasha JaegerBaird, who sits on the Ratepayers executive and is a blogger too (who I’m sure will have a detailed report of the evenings events on her blog shortly), answered several questions put to her, as a result of the meeting last Tuesday between the Ratepayers, mayor, council and administration, and did so in a very competent and professional manner.

Just as an after thought here. Something that was brought to my attention after the meeting that should have been by rights acknowledged during the meeting, is the position our municipal employees, many of whom are, or were, volunteer firefighters too, have been put in. These employees are not management (part of administration), nor do they sit on council (as councillors), but yet they have been put in an untenable position of having to serve one while having divided loyalties with the other… with their friends and neighbours in the community. Our hats should go off to these people for they are between a rock and a hard place. If they should decide to get involved as a unionized force in what is presently going on, god help the boys at municipal hall.

All in all, it was a fantastic turnout that clearly showed the extent of discontent in the community with the leadership and direction coming from our mayor, council, and administration, that will be hard for them to dismiss. Between what took place tonight in Hillcrest and Joni MacFarlane’s excellent editorial in this past week’s Crowsnest Promoter, council should finally see that public unrest really does demand their attention.

 

Taking action leads to results; not taking action only leads to feelings of hopelessness – and helplessness.

from John Prince
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7 Responses to Municipal Affairs Petition Draws ‘Huge’ Crowd

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a huge mistake by the ratepayers. They should have stayed with the removal of council plan instead of this intervene.With about 30% of their mandate left, the province would have terminated council.Now we are stuck with council for 1 more full year.Who has the power in this sitution.Is it the province or is it still council.Or are they supposed to try and work together.My guess is that it is to work together, find common ground and move forward. The problem is council still thinks they are right about everything and will not work with anybody.I do hope that some good will come out of this and that council will check there egos at the door. I will sign the petition and hope for the best, but I think we are in for a LONG year in the CNP.
    To all of council, when will you respect the wishes of the people?They are asking you to put on hold any new spending, to reinstate ALL fireman including the Cheif(temporarily until a investagation into the charges can be done by an independant panel).They are asking you to listen to the people, to not be so arrogant, to be flexable, to work With all of the groups.We are a community, be part of it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I do agree with the way the situation with council is being handled. By the time you get other people up to speed the term would be over. I think it might be a bit scary with the provincial government overseeing.Blind leading the blind, more government – great. Investigation done by an independent panel for the firing of the Fire Chief. Would every person who gets fired from the municipal government expect this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anon 10:12 “Would every person who gets fired from the municipal government expect this.”
    Most gov. employees have a union to make sure that things are being done fairly.
    In this case, we have about 80 fireman who walked off the job because they do not beleive there was a just cause for termination. The majority of residents also believe this.A public inquiry or an independant panel does not sound unrealistic to me.
    In my opinion this should be happening NOW. How long and how much will the municapality spend before the volunteer fireman are back.Without something along the lines of a panel to investagate we are stuck without proper coverage and hard feelings will persist. If the municapality is certain they are in the right then they should have no problem with this.

  4. peter rosner says:

    I attended the meeting last night and believe the rate payers have good intent. However after leaving the meeting i began to think this may not work out well for the firemen. The two groups have a common and a seperate agenda. If municipal affairs allows the municipality to run with the “replacement fire service” then the volunteer firemen are finished and Jamie will never be reinstated or accepted back as a voluteer. If i were one of those volunteers i would not be putting all my faith in the ratepayers agenda even though i did sign their petition. Hopefully the firemen consider this.

  5. ann_barbara says:

    The Firemen is not the only issue here! It is just the icing on the cake! We need a council that will listen, not take things down and rebuild, by then no one will want to be here, CNP is fast losing its footing, I agree things in life have to change to but not this way, truly hope those who are suppose to be in charge will get over themselves before we become a ghost town……….

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