Town Hall Meeting: We need to talk

We need to talk

I believe with everything that has transpired, especially in the last couple of months or so, that a meeting of the minds, so to speak, needs to take place between members of council and the general public here in the Pass, by way of a forum open to all.

A Town Hall Meeting should take place immediately to address citizen concerns which has culminated recently with a 2500 strong petition to Edmonton seeking provincial intervention in how our community is being run.

This meeting should focus strictly on the list of concerns as presented to council by the Crowsnest Ratepayers Association in a private meeting (closed to the public) that took place last October, which have yet to be addressed in an open debate to the public.

Council cannot continue hiding from the people and ducking their responsibilities. They need to address this problem head-on by facing the people one-on-one, so to speak, in an open debate on the issues, concerns and grievances we the people have. Only then can this community move forward.

UPDATE: 11:04 a.m.
Just sent an email to Mayor, Councillors, CAO Myron Thompson and individual members of the Ratepayers Association, including their president Bill Kovach, requesting an immediate Town Hall Meeting.

… It is my hope that an airing of grievances and concerns can take place resulting in a better understanding of our differences, so that with this information and knowledge, we may collectively move this community forward, afterwards.

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.
Just got an email response back from Myron, saying in part…

The Municipality will not be holding a public meeting until the latter part of January. This timing has been chosen because of a number of issues that we are dealing with including budget and also because a January timeframe will coincide with a number of anticipated activities and announcements that are planned for that time.


Comment:

My reply to Myron, in part…

Well that’s disappointing. I would have thought with the general uproar in the community dealing with the issue of the petition in particular would have been paramount in council’s mind, rather than allowing it to fester.

Despite the Mayor at our last Town Hall Meeting saying he wanted to have these types of meetings in the future every three or months and with everything that has transpired since that meeting in June we must wait until next year, in January, in order to deal with our concerns and have our voices heard and addressed.

I suspect this meeting in January, if not postponed until February or March or ? will be more about other matters than about what 2500 pissed off residents and untold others in the community here are concerned about, with respect to the direction this Mayor and council are taking us.

With ‘control of the narrative’ and agenda (limited discussion on past events, I bet, and more on the pie-in-the-sky future), and with Peace Officers/RCMP at the ready, I’m sure we’ll all be suitably impressed with the Mayor’s grandiose announcements that soon afterwards we’ll all forget our petty grievances and childish outbursts of late. Ya, right!

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

 

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

from John Prince
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11 Responses to Town Hall Meeting: We need to talk

  1. Anonymous says:

    I checked out Gallants blog. His take on the petition is that some people have been telling him that they were bullied into signing the petition and therefore the 2500 signatures do not count.
    Maybe Brian should think that maybe the few people who told him these things are council supporters or possibly not even telling the truth.There is no way this council is taking this petition seriously.
    Judy asks gallant to do something about the fireman situation and he refuses to discuss this also. His previous answer to this was,We did not force them to quit.Why are they so unwilling to work with the people of the CNP?The only way things could possibly change is if the provincial government steps in and does something.
    Even if there was a town hall meeting does anyone really see these guys changing their minds.They have shown us over and over that they will do as the Mayor pleases and the 6 lemmings will follow.I am still shocked that at least 1 or 2 councilors have not broken free of the Mayors grip.

  2. The Doomsayer says:

    Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
    Abraham Lincoln

    Yes, we can rise up up & run the mayor, council, etc out of town on a rail but we have to ask ourselves some very searching questions.
    Have their actions locked us into a course of action which will be very costly & difficult to undo?
    Will the mayor, etc use the “secret” negotiations for the hotel & ultra secret factory as a big stick to get re-elected? I can hear it now, “if you don’t re-elect us, negotiations will fail & it will be the fault of the unappreciative people of the Pass !”
    Even if we turf the mayor, etc, how long will it be before volunteers have the confidence to return?

    The biggest concern is who do we put in their place? The neighbor to the west, can’t have him, he likes the mayor! The neighbor to the east, can’t have him, he supports the ratepayers! The feller down the street, well, he’s only lived here a few years, what does he know! Even if we finally elect a mayor & council, the biggest hurdle is the municipal administration. We have civil employees, smug in their union protected over-paid jobs whose only concern is not the people but keeping their jobs. How difficult do you think it is going to be to get rid of the CAO & Director of Protective Services?

    Regardless of how difficult the upcoming hurdles will be, we must continue to fight!

    Voices in the dark (Okay, agitators) like John Prince, Pete Rosner, myself & others will continue to speak, groups like the Ratepayers will continue to fight & concerned citizens will step up at election to do what we have to save our way of life in the Crowsnest Pass.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “The Municipality will not be holding a public meeting until the latter part of January.”
    Myron Thompson

    Sounds like a rearguard action, trying to put this crisis into a holding pattern. My crystal ball (a.k.a beer glass) tells me that the so-called negotiations are nowhere as complete or advanced as the mayor, council, etc would have us believe. It tells me that these are just preliminary talks & by delaying any conversation, the administration is hoping to have time to advance these negotiations & bail themselves out of the trouble they are in.

    I will wager that the mayor & crew are in the bluff of their lives & their bullsheet is about to be called.

  4. Couple of things:

    CAO Thompson stated at the last council meeting (Nov 6) that it will take 30 days to wrap up the details with the developer on the CLC site.
    At the previous meeting Sept 18 he had stated two weeks.

    To the previous comment ” We have civil employees, smug in their union protected over-paid jobs whose only concern is not the people but keeping their jobs. How difficult do you think it is going to be to get rid of the CAO & Director of Protective Services?”

    Most of our union people are good decent employees, sure there is the odd bad apple but show me a workforce that doesn’t have one.
    Getting rid of administrators is not that difficult,it’s only a matter of cost.
    Has this council signed them to long term contractors, or are there significant severance clauses? we don’t know. But if those are not there then the rule of thumb for management is usually one months pay for each year of service. Unless you have just cause.

    Dean Ward

  5. Anonymous says:

    I guess I just do not get it.Does council not control administration.And I am not talking about micromanaging every little thing.Myron and all administrators are just employees.When a council gets elected do they not set the tone and direction for administration to follow.I would never pay Myron a severance package if I was on council.I would have him do as council wished or Council would terminate him.Or am I wrong and really do not get it.

  6. Jose says:

    Anon 5:07PM. Glad to see I’m not the only one wondering “who is on first”. From the Town Hall meeting, and the subservient nature of the CAO to Your Worship, it looked like the Mayor was the Gramd Poobah. But then, it depends where you live, I guess.

    From the recent amd present goings on, one does’t really know who reports to whom, but then there are so many intermeshed issues that it is possible that even the Mayor, Council and Admin don’t know. Or, they keep it secret so that us minions are kept totally confused with their undertakings.

    Hope that someone wil answer your inquiry.

    Jose

  7. Peter Rosner says:

    Sorry for hijacking your blog yeterday John,i was just making a point and it became a case of inquiring minds want to know. I still encourage citizens to try and talk to these councilers in public or private. A lot of people are not comfortable asking questions in crowded sessions. Also they will not get the depth of conversation that you can in a one on one setting.

  8. John Prince says:

    Anon @5:07
    How things are suppose to work is that the CAO and administration are suppose to follow the lead of council. The role of council is to set the policies and the direction for the municipality, administration is responsible for implementing council approved policies. In addition to the above, administration covers the day-today management of operations.

    To use an old metaphor, the council “steers” and the executive office and the administration “rows”, the ship of state.

    It is unclear to many in the community right now whether the above roles somehow got mixed up, as many believe administration is now setting policy and council is rowing?

    With the above in mind, it is interesting to note that when I sent mayor, council and our CAO an email today requesting a Town Hall Meeting, the CAO alone answered me back, and took it upon himself to speak for council? In this instance, it seems as though mayor and council had no say in the matter and are following the CAO’s lead, instead of vice versa?

    JP

  9. John Prince says:

    Peter,
    I appreciate that and want you to know your comments are always welcomed here for you bring a depth of experience and community knowledge second to none. I respect your passion and commitment to the community, trying to build bridges by encouraging people to talk with their councillors, but I can tell you from first hand experience this council goes out of its way to antagonize people here, failing to respond to emails, offers of doing coffee, spreading falsehoods through smear campaigns, etc. They are not interested in constructive debate, especially in the arena of one-on-one if it gets in the way of their program and group narrative, and therefore a public forum is needed to flush them out in order to see who is who, and what is what.

    This is what I was shooting for with my proposal for an immediate Town Hall Meeting. You just happened to get in the way. Sorry about that. ;-)

    JP

  10. Judy says:

    I feel I tried to talk to Mr. Gallant via his blog and all I received was a brush off. Him or and of the rest of council will not LISTEN to a thing we have to say. We can talk or write til we’re blue in the face but they will not LISTEN. It’s so very frustrating to me. I don’t want things all our way either, I want negotiation on what’s going on. They are supposedly working for us, so why do we have zero say in what they do? I guess we are paying for our mistake of voting them in … I’m counting the days til the next election.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You are correct Judy. Council are suppose to be the Leaders of the community getting the people to follow. But this council is a dictatorship that will do as it pleases regardless of what the people want.
    11 months from now we will have a new council and the community will begin to heal.But for the current 7 members of council the hard feelings will never go away.

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