Friday, November 2, 2012

Petition Presented - CTV Lethbridge - Nov.02/12

Will the municipal affairs give any consideration to 2500 signatures or 53% of the voting public.

The silent majority are no longer silent.

This from Global TV in Lethbridge

It appears a group of southwest Albertans aren't getting the answer they wanted from the provincial government.

The Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association delivered a petition to the Alberta Legislature this week, calling for an intervention into the municipality's council and administration.

"Our petition is 2,500 strong," said Bill Kovach, president of the association, in Edmonton on Thursday. "It's a pretty healthy petition, people have said enough is enough."

Enough of poor expenditures, says the group.

The petition dates back to July, but organizers say it has gained strength since the Blairmore fire chief was dismissed in early October.

Minister Doug Griffiths has already responded to at least one individual. In a letter provided to Global News, Griffiths writes, "I respect the work that the Crowsnest Pass council and administration has done," adding he will, "continue to support their efforts to carry out their legislated responsibilities."

"That sounds very encouraging," said Bruce Decoux, the Crowsnest Pass mayor. "We trust the Minister to make the appropriate decision, and whatever decision he does make, we'll certainly abide by it."

Decoux says the petition concerns him, noting council has to re-clarify its vision. But he adds there is a large "silent majority" of residents in the Pass who support the municipality's work.

"We are, on a daily basis, encouraged by people that have written us private letters," said Decoux. "As far as we're concerned, we have received an immense amount of support."

The Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association worries that spending by the municipality can't be sustained in a community where the population is shrinking.

"It makes it very difficult for those of us left to pick up the costs," said Kovach.

Under the Municipal Government Act, Griffiths has 30 days to respond, at which point he can choose whether or not to intervene.

Read it on Global News: Global Lethbridge | Letter from Minister supports Crowsnest Pass council 


peter rosner said...

There is no doubt that council has support from some of the residents. You really dont have to look to far as some groups have gone unscathed at this point. To put it bluntly they are working with this council in the changes to the fire protection services. What i find really odd is they were behind the previous petition to oust the previous council. I guess they got the answers they wanted from this council.

Anonymous said...

We can't keep on functioning as all different towns. Not sensible. I cannot believe how all the little towns try to keep everything as was. Not feasible in this day and age. Changes are inevitable no matter who is in charge. Maybe the buck has been passed long enough do you think.

Anonymous said...

Change will happen, but let's talk about improved efficiency for example the Fire Dept over the next two years the labour component of the budget is going to double is that necessary.
Next example Thunder in the Valley, well if council and the silent majority want just a family orientated weekend. Bellcrest and Coleman days get $4500 to put on their weekends what do you think it cost to put on Rum Runner Days?
Community peace officers are projected to bring in $700,000 in revenue next year, they would have to bring in $1600 a shift, anybody believes that will happen?

Change yes it will happen but it needs to be smart change.

They max out the Franchise Fees next year so where do they find extra revenues in future years?

Anonymous said...

So between all these letters of support council is receiving and the letters from prospective committee members. Where do they find the time to do anything else.


Anonymous said...

The speed with which the petition was signed by almost 2500 residents speaks volumes about the so called “silent majority.” All but the “court” sees that the emperor has no clothes. There is no doubt that there are those who support what the council is doing, but even some of these supporters are not happy with the way our council has been conducting our business. All the secrecy is so unnecessary. Had they been open with the community, a lot of this nonsense would not have happened. No one can be happy with the way things have turned out. In his Mayor’s Corner the Mayor seems to blame one individual, and most of us, in turn, blame the Mayor. In this simple finger pointing all of us are wrong. The Mayor is only one member of the council, so he should not be singled out, all the decisions must have the majority of the council, so all of them should shoulder the blame for what is going on equally. On his part, the Mayor is just simply naive to assign blame on this, or that, particular individual. The petition is the result of the cumulative pressure which built up over the past two years, and is the direct result of all the unnecessary secrecy, as well as, the treatment of all the different volunteer groups in the community. So in the end, assigning blame is not a simple matter.

Anonymous said...

"We are, on a daily basis, encouraged by people that have written us private letters," said Decoux.

The preferred form of "public input".

Of course His Worship can't name these people out of respect for their anonymity.

Anonymous said...

Why would he have to name them?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:05
The Ratepayers have 2500 people who signed a petition. The mayor claims to have the 'silent majority' behind him and offers as prove people who have written 'private letters'. How convenient.

If you can't see the farcical nonsense between fact and fiction, I'm sorry, you have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Small Reminder:
The Strategic Plan from 2010. Seems the current council is finally acting on some of those points finally instead of letting it just gather dust.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind the mayor also has the support of the Alberta Government. So think what you want but they will finish their term. Ratepayers are starting to scare me a bit.

Anonymous said...

The strategic plan is so full of generalizations that any disaster decision can be explained in terms of "the strategic plan." Man plans - God laughs.

Anonymous said...

The Strategic Plan from 2010 predates the current council - BTW

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some of it should have been left back on the shelf collecting dust.

Anonymous said...

Subject: Crowsnest Pass Council violates "Right of public to be present"

Minister of Municipal Affairs
Doug Griffiths

You wrote:
"The MGA sets out clear requirements for municipal councils to conduct their business openly (except in very limited and specific circumstances)."

According to our Council:
"All Committee meetings shall be open to observers from the public unless the matters under Committee consideration pertain to:
v. Any other topic which IN THE OPINION OF THE MAJORITY of the members of the Committee is of a confidential nature." (*)

Here is a partial list of their "in camera" sessions:

2 Oct 2012 – 8:35 pm. . .. 9:30 pm.
4 Sep 2012 – 7:55 pm. ... 8:53 pm.
21 Aug 2012 – 8:00 pm. .. 8:50 pm.
7 Aug 2012 – 8:00 pm. ... 9:12 pm.
17 Jul 2012 – 8:25 pm. ... 8:46 pm.
19 Jun 2012 – 4:00 pm. ... 4:45 pm.
19 Jun 2012 – 8:00 pm. ... 9:14 pm.
15 May 2012 – 8:22 pm. ... 9:00 pm.
15 May 2012 – 4:15 pm. ... 5:35 pm
1 May 2012 – 8:48 pm. .... 10:06 pm.
17 Apr 2012 – 8:48 pm. ... 9:25 pm.
10 Apr 2012 – 7:05 pm. ... 7:40 pm.
5 Apr 2012 – 4:25 pm. ... 5:15 pm.
3 Apr 2012 - 8:50 pm. ... 9:28 pm.
27 Mar 2012 – 8:55 pm. ... 10:06 pm.
20 Mar 2012 – 8:22 pm. ... 9:25 pm.
15 Mar 2012 – 3:57 pm. ... 5:00 pm.
6 Mar 2012 – 9:18 pm. ... 10:03 pm.
1 Mar 2012 – 3:47 pm. ... 5:25 pm.
21 Feb 2012 - 8:27 pm. ... 9:15 pm.
7 Feb 2012 – 9:19 pm. ... 9:37 pm.
24 Jan 2012 – 4:00 pm. ... 4:33 pm.
24 Jan 2012 – 7:53 pm. ... 9:10 pm.
10 Jan 2012 - 8:10 pm ... 9:55 pm
13 Dec 2011 – 7:50 pm. ... 9:20 pm
6 Dec 2011 – 8:54 pm. ... 8:05 pm.
8 Nov 2011 – 8:35 pm. ... 9:12 pm.
27 Oct 2011 – 2:05 pm. ... 3:15 pm.
18 Oct 2011 – 8:32 pm. ... 9:29 pm
11 Oct 2011 NO MOTION. 10:29 pm
4 Oct 2011 – 7:40 pm. ... 8:35 pm
6 Sep 2011 – 1:55 pm. ... 5:42 pm. <--- !!! (**)
20 Sep 2011 – 8:10 pm. ... 10:05 pm.
23 Aug 2011 – 8:05 pm ... 9:40 pm
12 Jul 2011 – NO MOTION. 10:25 pm.
14 Jun 2011 - 8:20 pm ... 9:17 pm
7 Jun 2011 - 8:50 pm ... 9:40 pm
30 Jun 2011 – 10:10 am. ... 12:00 pm.
14 Jun 2011 – 6:03 pm. ... 6:20 pm.
11 May 2011 – 1:50 pm. ... 2:45 pm.
6 May 2011 – 8:20 pm. ... 8:40 pm.
8 Mar 2011 – 7:50 pm. ... 9:25 pm.
1 Mar 2011 – 7:55 pm. ... 9:00 pm.
19 Apr 2011 - 8:20 pm. ... 9:25 pm.
8 Feb 2011 – 7:54 pm. ... 9:10 pm.
4 Jan 2011 – 7:55 pm. ... 8:50 pm.
9 Nov 2010 – 8:25 pm. ... 9:40 pm.
2 Nov 2010 – 8:15 pm ... 9:15 pm.

According to your department and FOIP we have no legal recourse. We can't even complain to the Ombudsman as in other provinces.

(Some dates in the list may be innaccurate.)

Anonymous said...

Not quite sure what you are getting at. I think that is usual. We have lived in several areas and that seems about right to me.

Anonymous said...

This council has generated an unusual amount of legal work for a small community. This amount of legal work most likely correlates directly with the very high number of the in camera meetings. Some of this is very foolish, they are not running New York City, They have been stuck in the first pillar of their grand plan from day one. All of this administrative engineering will come down to all of us in the form of higher taxes and higher fees. Someone will have to untangle all of this and bring us back to reality.

Anonymous said...

I will go off topic here.How come there has not been an announcement from the municapality about the new hotel or the manufacturing facility? 3 weeks ago in the mayors write up he said it was a done deal, just a few details concerning the hotel. And the manufacturing plant is ago also if they could just figure out how to cool that water.Highway 3 is very near ready to be moved also.They may as well be saying "Coming soon a 5000 seat arena out by the lakes".

Anonymous said...

Can't remember him saying anything about highway 3. I do not think that would be a high priority for the powers that be in Edmonton. Would not worry about that happening anytime soon if ever. The mayor probably wants to wait until he gets everything in order; so when everyone pounces on him he will be ready.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:18 said...
"Not quite sure what you are getting at. I think that is usual. We have lived in several areas and that seems about right to me."

The MGA section Griffiths referred to says:

Public presence at meetings
197(1) Councils and council committees must conduct their meetings in public unless subsection (2) or (2.1) applies.
(2) Councils and council committees may close all or part of their meetings to the public if a matter to be discussed is within one of the exceptions to disclosure in Division 2 of Part 1 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Our Council thinks they can close their meetings according to their opinions of what should be confidential.

Division 2 of Part 1 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is several pages, and there is a 116 page FOIP Guidelines and Practices - EXCEPTIONS TO THE RIGHT OF ACCESS. They claim to be all about transparency and open government, but do you think they even know this stuff exists?

Back in June 28, 2011 (Dean's report) they did:
"6. Agenda Format Changes moved to In Camera"

There is no way "Agenda Format" qualifies as a FOIP exception. Not a big deal in itself, but why the obsessive secrecy, what do they have to hide?

Anonymous said...

Even more off topic, what is this about?

Anonymous said...

Today's Dilbert

We have "branding" and our "strategic plan".