Sunday, September 8, 2013

Crowsnest Pass where nobody is getting the answers

Courtesy of the Pass Herald, read more at 

Municipal council may have wrapped up for the week but drama is still unfolding around the September 3rd meeting.
Councillor Andrew Saje filed a complaint with the local Peace Officer for what he feels to be an infraction against municipal council’s ability to do their job.
“I was not able to do my fiduciary duty to this community by being interrupted by the mayor,” says Councillor Saje.
Councillor Saje would have asked why Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson’s hours and the associated costs to the municipality (the time he spent assisting with the recent transaction for the rights to a Best Western Hotel franchise by Group Vachon) were not released to municipal council.
Councillor Saje’s question was stopped by the mayor before council could respond and deferred until the next meeting of municipal council, according to Saje.
“I wanted to know how these associated costs were addressed and to which project they were addressed and to which project they were assigned,” says Councillor Saje.
Saje’s questions follow the requested release by the municipality to the Crowsnest Pass Promoter of the figures involved for Group Vachon to retain the rights to a Best Western franchise from the municipality (Crowsnest Pass) and over $18,000 in additional cost released on.
The Promoter reported there was an additional $8,000 (approx.) in legal fees associated with building a new hotel on the site of the Crowsnest Centre, and another $10,000 spent on a hotel feasibility study conducted by Rich Eichler.
“I hope this brings awareness that council needs to follow the bylines and duties so council will be able to do their job,” Saje said.
Mayor Bruce Decoux insists he was not out of line because Councillor Saje’s question was not an actual motion declared to municipal council.
“I indicated to him to keep track of his questions and bring them for the next meeting,” says Decoux.
Decoux says the proper procedure for a question such as what Councillor Saje asked should be brought to the attention of the CAO before or after the meeting and if the matter is urgent, it can then be read before Part ll Section 7 of Bylaw 791 which reads:
When the Mayor or other presiding officer is called upon to decide a point of order or practice, the point shall be stated without unnecessary comment and the Mayor or other presiding officer shall cite the rule or authority applicable to the case.


Anonymous said...

You ain't seen nothing yet, wait until the report on labour/management relationships at the municipality comes out.

Anonymous said...

According to the 2005 bylaw:
Notices of Motion; Any Councillor may make a motion introducing any new matter of municipal business only if
1. Notice is given at a meeting of Council held at least seven days before the meeting at which the motion is to be debated. or
2. Council passes a resolution by majority vote dispensing with notice.
When notice has been given, the Chief Administrative Officer will include the proposed motion in the agenda of the meeting for the date indicated in the notice.

I think the 2005 bylaw may have been revised, but I can't find the new version.

I doubt this is in the Peace Officers' jurisdiction but I don't know where Saje could complain to. The MGA seems to have no means of enforcement.

Anonymous said...

In other words: During a meeting of council, the Mayor can do what he like's, when he likes, how he likes and to hell with everyone else!!! Just like he does to this community!!!

Anonymous said...

Re Saje's question to the Mayor re CAO on latter"s time spent on the BW hotel issue. If the legal fees were from the firm I think was used for the "project" review. $8,000.00 at $300.00 or so $/hr means only 25 hours of legal time. This is not the "hours and hours" spent on the numerous revisions that were made to the original documents as per CAO. The real cost of legal fees is likely hidden as is the time spent by the CAO and admin staff. We have here a basic CYA by the mayor and his minion CAO. Amateur hour at its best. Time for these guys to be turfed.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Andrew Saje filed a complaint with the local Peace Officer for what he feels to be an infraction against municipal council’s ability to do their job.
“I was not able to do my fiduciary duty to this community by being interrupted by the mayor,” says Councillor Saje.
Are you kidding me. Oh my goodness. I cannot for my life imagine a scenario where this would take place. Slow day in council...

Anonymous said...

Dean this actually makes me wonder what other kinds of hidden costs went in to a project like this. Not just the CAO's wages was there any involvement of other members of administration? clerical support? other outside assistance maybe a PR firm.
Would you have any idea how much we pay our administrators? what kinds of dollars would be involved with their time?


Anonymous said...

It looks like councillor Saje went to the Peace Officer just to make a very valid point.

The Mayor should have asked councillor Saje whether he raised the point with the CAO, maybe the councillor did, and did not get any response to his enquiries. Anyone surprised?

It is clear there is no proper financial control at the main office.

Only a quintessential satire of a bureaucrat would think that administrative and clerical hours should not be accounted for.

If this was happening anywhere else, feathers would fly.

Judging by the amount of time the administration and council spent on this project, the hours should be accounted for, how else will they know how much it costs to run this ship wreck?

They worked so hard on this project, there is a good chance some overtime clerical hours may have even sneaked into this mess, who knows?

These are the kind of questions councillors should be asking and the Mayor should not be blowing them off. This is why we elect them.

The Mayor and his sidekick would be well served to look up the word fiduciary.

Anonymous said...

There was staff time staging the corporate events at the Elks and there is a fee schedule for use of the hall. There should at least have been a Council resolution to waive the fee.

These guys think they are entitled to help themselves to public resources for anything they want without any formal authorization. Himself's Worship said so re his political use of the newsletter. Makes me wonder, what else are they doing that we don't know about.

Funny, when they go to conferences they always pass a resolution, which makes it "public business" and legitimises the expenses. But somehow they think a resolution is unnecessary for other spending.

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