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 email@example.com 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.