Thursday, October 20, 2011

Council Meeting of October 18, 2011 Crowsnest Pass

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass

Oct 18,2011

Organizational meeting:

Committee Appointments: The only change made during this process was Councilor Mitchell took a position on the Ag Services Board then in turn Councilor Saindon took Mitchell’s place on the Municipal Bargaining Committee.

(The significance of this will be revealed in the next few months as the collective agreement with CUPE expires December 31st)

Motion to accept passed unanimously.

Deputy Mayor: Councilors Gallant and Londsbury agreed to switch positions in the rotation.

Motion to accept passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 7:07pm

Council Meeting of October 18, 2011

Public Hearing: None

Adoption of Agenda: Acting CAO Myron Thompson added a personnel item under In Camera. Also requested Council to defer Item B under other Business to a later date. Motion to accept the Agenda as amended was passed unanimously

Adoption of previous minutes:
Minutes of the Council Meeting of Oct 4, 2011, with a minor correction. Motion to accept was passed unanimously

Delegations: None

Administrative and Agency Reports:
1. Kim Lutz-Appointments to the Agricultural Services Board Council passed a motion to accept Kim Lutz’s recommendations for the Board unanimously.

2. Enmax Contract- Motion to accept passed unanimously.

3. Request to lease road allowance-This involves a garage that as been sitting on municipal property since the late 1970’s on 18ave in Coleman. Motion was made by Councilor Mitchell to have the owner remove the garage at their expense by April 31st 2012. Motion to accept was passed by a vote of 5-2 (Saindon and Gallant opposed)

Business arising from the Minutes: None

1. Royal Canadian Legion Coleman branch. Looking for council member to attend Remembrance day services.

2. Municipal Heritage Board request for funding. They requested the municipality pay for the costs of accommodation and travel to attend a conference. Council informed administration that there was no money in the budget for these types of requests. Motion to deny the request was passed unanimously.

Committee Reports:

1. Minutes of August 23, 2011 G+P committee meeting, no discussion. Motion to accept passed unanimously.
2. Minutes of September 13, 2011 G+P committee meeting, no discussion. Motion to accept passed unanimously
3. Minutes of August 31, 2011 Subdivision and Development Board. Question raised regarding a retaining wall built in Bellevue, CAO Thompson told council the wall must be removed by the end of the month or legal action will begin. Motion to accept passed unanimously

1. Bylaw 834, 2011- Regulated Rate Tariff (all 3 reading). Motion passed first reading unanimously, second reading passed unanimously, consideration for third reading passed unanimously, third reading passed 5-2 (Saindon and Saje opposed)
2. Bylaw 835, 2011 –Default Supplier Tariff. (all 3 reading). Motion passed first reading unanimously, second reading passed unanimously, consideration for third reading passed unanimously, third reading passed 5-2 (Saindon and Saje opposed)

Note: Several councilors complained about being forced by administration to vote on all three readings of the bylaws above. They did not have to, unlike most issues presented at council that require a majority of council to support them before they take effect. Bylaws can only be given all three reading at one meeting only if after second reading all members of council vote in favor of allowing third reading to take place any one councilor could have forced this issue to be readdressed at the next council meeting.

Notices of Motion: None

Other Business:
1. Municipal Heritage Board Appointments/Advertising for new members. Council appointed John Kinnear by unanimous vote to sit on this board to represent the Ecomuseum board. No motion made to advertise the other vacant position.

2. Property Tax Bylaw 821,2011 deferred to a later meeting.

Council Member reports: Some councilors listed of meetings they attended.

Public Input: None

Motion to go In Camera: Passed Unanimously


Anonymous said...

I would advise the CUPE members to cherish everything they have for the next two months. Come Jan 1 their world will be changing.


Anonymous said...

Larry, are you saying the 'golden goose' has popped her last egg? :-)


Anonymous said...

I don't know if its the last egg but I think there will be less of them available.


Anonymous said...

Off topic, maybe, but Emile Saindon says on his blog :

"We are working with our current interim CAO to fill those positions and reorganize the central office to better serve our residents. But let’s face it most of you already know this along with the discussions about realigning the Fire Department and Public Works."

I don't know anything about these discussions. Who was doing the discussing and where?

All I know is that a final decision was decreed by the Administration.

Did I miss something?

(According to the Alberta Municipal Government Act, we have a Right to be Present at council and council committee meetings. Secret meetings are illegal).

peter rosner said...

this council was elected on the platform of change as the general public was not comfortable with the changes the previous council was making. One year later the critics are out. You cant have your cake and eat it too. You have the choice no change and continued higher taxes or start to implement change that will slow down the increases. Its not about the firemen we all know they are good people and do alot for the community. But can we sustain the continued cost of four fire departments. Its not about municipal employees who for the most part are very dedicated and do volunteer work in this community. Its if we can continue meeting the rising cost of their labour. You can only go to the well so often and soon its empty

Anonymous said...


Change is fine but how do you slow down the tax increases by hiring more staff again and again.

Fire chief, bylaw officer, public works foreman, plus the four positions last spring.

Bringing in a high priced CAO when Councillor Mitchell told us last year it would only take a few months to find one. Do you think we will ever know what that cost the taxpayers.

What do you think our tax increase will be for next year? Maybe that will open some eyes they are already going to soak us for an extra $200,000 with franchise fees.

Two things change what change, and at what cost?

Time will tell.


What changes have you seen Peter?
They closed the Bellevue library and consolidated the Coleman/Blairmore shops in July. (Still not taken place)

E DeRoche said...

Brian Gallant has all the "changes" that have occurred in the last year on his blog. It is quite thorough and informative. I am sure he will have excellent strategies in place not to raise our taxes in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

So Mr Deroche with "excellent strategies" in place not to increase taxes why the increase in franchise fees?


peter rosner said...

sometimes in life we have to accept that things are not what they used to be. "if" this council has a statrgic plan it will take time to iron its self out. In our lifetimes we have all experienced a lot of change some of it we may have disagreed with at the time of it being implemented. Years Later you look back and say "they" (some form of government or your employer) had some foresight and made the best decision given the knowledge they had at that time. Lets hope this council is no different we just dont want to give any council the chance to complete their agenda. One thing i do see is this council is not communicating their agenda much like the previous council and trust is a hard thing to ask for from the voters.

Ann Matheson said...

I have been following this blog for a long while. There hasn't been any further mention of Bridgecreek being persued to pay for the clean up of their fantasy development in CNP. Who will ultimately pay to have the land restored?

E DeRoche said...

Mr Larry,

The increase of franchise fees I am sure was not part of Mr. Gallant's intentions. With his savvy business skills, Mr Gallant will devise alternatives to tax increases to the Council while moving the community forward.

Anonymous said...

From Brian Gallant's Oct. 6 blog:

Strategic Plan
As a reflection of this, council has spent the better part of the last year coming up with a new strategic plan for the Crowsnest Pass. This document is being created based on incomplete items of the previous plan, ideas from the Community Futures sustainability plan, recommendation from the Task Force on the Economy, stakeholder engagement, and individual items from council members, which have been relayed to us by the public.
The big difference this time is that rather than hiring a consultant to do all of the work, council drafted it based on the information provided and we are only using a writer to clean it up. This has made it a longer process but rather than paying a consultant $40,000+ to write it, we put in the work ourselves and are only paying a few thousand to have it put into a presentable format.

Dean, was there any motion of Council to authorize this project, the "few thousand" and presumably use of Municipal facilities and office services? My understanding is that Council members have no more authority than any other seven folks to do something like this - unless they have passed such a motion.

The phrase "stakeholder engagement" raises red flags for me. I would translate "stakeholder" as "special interests", and "engagement" as what happens before you have to get married.

Anonymous said...


I can't wait to see the alternatives to tax increases.

Looks like we are getting spoon fed the answers to our prayers on Nov 9th.


Anonymous said...

Anne, Do you see how that subject (Bridgecreek scam) is toally avoided in the CNP? It's a well kept secret, whatever it may be???
All I know is the RCMP complaint has now made its way to Toronto and Edmonton, as the Calgary office is overwhelmed with many more such ponzi schemes. Justice always prevails.

Anonymous said...

No 11:26 it is not totally avoided. Mayor Decoux stated early in his term that the issue of River Run would be dealt with by his council. I fully expect that during his presentation of his strategic plan, this very important issue will clearly be dealt with in a systematic manner over the next couple of years. I expect that on November 9 all parties involved with this problem will see the rebirth and revitalization of a much needed project that will bring many good things to the Crowsnest Pass.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Cliff,

That is great, as long as the investors who were ripped off by Colin Becker and Bill Bradley are not forgotten about and left out in the cold.

Anonymous said...

I think the investors in riverrun and the crowsnest lake project better get down here and present their case to council before it is to late.I am reasonably sure that property taxes have not been paid for the last 2 years.What happens next year when after 3 years of no tax paid?Does the property not revert back to the municapality.
Cliff, You expect council is going to come up with a big plan for these properties? Either you have inside info or you are misinformed.I can not remember reading anything from this council that says they are trying to do anything with these properties.Maybe it is all "in camera" or closed door meetings.
As for the investors, you have not been forgoten, but what would you have us do? I suggest that you finish your foreclosures and pay the property taxes owed.Or at the very least get down here and ask for an extension.

Anonymous said...


If you refer back to the Final report of the Mayor's Task Force.

Under Action #18 it states the following:
"Investigate opportunities to re-appropriate the former Bridgegate River Run property and actively pursue proposals for redevelopment"

Right next to that under the Comments section it states
"This site also represents a significant opportunity for economic development which must be capitalized on without further delay"

It also goes on to state "New vision for development by end of Q4 2011.

No inside information just the Task forces own words that was approved by council, is there any reason to think that they won't have an answer to this problem at the town hall meeting.


Anonymous said...

Cliff, I hope you do not think that everything in that task force report will get done.I am sure it said something in the task force report about demolishing the old hospital also, rec centre, ski lift, edo hiring etc....These also has not been talked about in a public forum.So either they are going to come out with a big plan at this meeting or not.Time will tell.With no public debate of course who knows what is happening.
So in my opinion, there is every reason to think that they will not have answers to these problems.

Anonymous said...

From the sounds of it council has done the old hospital, River Run etc. Better get busy boys!
Your term will be over and we will have the same mess.

Anonymous said...

The way I understand things the only way the municipality will have any legal standing is if the owner(s) of the property default on taxes for three years.
Then the municipality will have the option to auction the land at fair market value.

What would be fair market value? what happens if nobody bids fair market value?


Anonymous said...

OK...So who owns the property??..Bill Bradley and Colin becker took the 30 or 40 million dollars, filed for personal bankrupsy , and disappeared. Who exactly owns it now and who is expected to pay for Colin and Bill's back taxes?

Anonymous said...

I'm quite sure the municipality would have a legal battle on their hands if the land was sold from under the investors (victims)...The victims have each lost 100's of thousands of dollars in this scam. Many of them believe the previous mayor was one of the perpetrators. Some of the victims have lost their homes, some have lost their marriage, some have lost their health, a couple have lost their life.
Is the municipality going to give them another kick in the guts while they're down and repossess the property when it was NO FAULT to the investors??? The greedy bast@#rds who stole their money are the one's responsible. Looks like the lawyers will be the winners again on this one.
P.S. Many of the victims now cannot afford to pay someone else's back taxes.
To the CNP municipaliity...HAVE A HEART..and take a little responsibilty for what has happened.Remember, your lawyer was on the promotional video and a couple of your councillors wereemployed by Bridgecreek. It all smells very badly. Lawyers are ringing their hands.

Ann Matheson said...

'Passed Unanimously'
'In Camera'
'Public Input - None'

Transperancy in CNP?

Bill Bradley declared personal bankruptcy. Assets of $100,000.00 Claims against $800,000.00. Public record, will cost you $8.00 for a printout.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne,
Do you really think Bradley is truely bankrupt? Or maybe all his ill gottten gains are hidden somewhere?
I was told that Becker and bradley split their time 1/2 in Calgary and 1/2 "away with friends"..probably Palm Springs...(Do they hitchhike there?)...would be easy to sign over the millions. the homes, cars to family and friends, file for personal bankrupsy, and then go "visit" them.

How would I find the bankrupsy informaton for Bradley and Becker?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you.But someone from your investor group must come down here and plead your case.Maybe ask for an extension or a waiver of tax considering the circumstances.Doing nothing but blogging will not help.
As for what the land is worth, a serviced lot in the CNP ranges from about 60,000 - 120,000.Riverrun lots are unserviced, have some contamanation and have no legal access road.My best guess is that those lots are only worth maybe 20,000 on the high end to a long term investor.
Someone on one of these blogs had posted pics of becker at his house in Palm spring with a rolls in the driveway.They may be bankrupt but they are living like kings.Go get them.

Anonymous said...

Bill Bradley and Colin Becker had those lots appraised at $260,000.00 Gateway Appraisals, Canmore, Alberta.