MA Rejects Request For Thorsby Municipal Inspection

  • Aug. 28, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Pipestone Flyer

Following a petition signed by 200 Thorsby residents, Municipal Affairs (MA) interviews with key people, and an analysis of information the village is required to annually submit to the ministry, MA has rejected the request for a Municipal Inspection saying the review did not identify concerns that would justify an inspection at this time.

In the letter to the mayor, Minister of Municipal Affairs Greg Weadick, stated the findings indicated “strained relationships between community members and council and administration” and “a general lack of understanding of municipal procedures and legislative requirements.”

Weadick suggested that Council consider support from the Collaborative Governance Initiative (CGI), a program to help municipalities build protocols to prevent conflict from occurring and proactively address conflict when it occurs. Weadick also offered ongoing advisory support and suggested a workshop session on council and administration roles and responsibilities.

Mayor Rasch said while Council has taken steps towards transparency by “increasing media relations and getting the word out,” and by the “establishment of the Financial Advisory Committee to listen to and address community concerns,” he is frustrated because this verdict does not bring closure that the community is seeking.

Councillor Beleshko was, in his words, “less complimentary.” He thought Council would be debriefed on how MA arrived at its conclusion due to the subjective nature of the evaluation process. After the review, he was made aware that one of the preliminary interviewers, Ms. A. Nelson, was a former Thorsby CAO. He wondered if that might be potentially prejudicial and why it was not disclosed.

Beleshko also wonders why the MA overlooked the will of 200 citizens who signed a petition “because of the mistake that two people made by using ditto marks for the address.” When Councillor Jardine suggested starting another petition with 500 names, twelve residents present in chambers burst into applause.

Council agreed there is a need for clarity from MA in what they need help with and in what areas there is a general lack of understanding of the MGA (Municipal Government Act). Councillor Burnett wants both clarity and for Thorsby to take advantage of any help the MA offered.

Councillor Hart offered another perspective, “The Minister, at his sole discretion, may open the door for programs to do what an inspection can do.” He then cited the cost-share price tag for an inspection—$50 thousand for the province, $30 thousand for the village. Beleshko stated an inspection would help Council identify areas that need to be addressed the most.

Council will send a letter to the Minister expressing their concerns regarding the vagueness of the letter and requesting further clarification of his letter and a detailed analysis of the criteria used that led to the decision not to hold a Municipal Inspection. Furthermore, Council wants a meeting with MA to discuss this.

Just Posted

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate armed robbery

Wetaskiwin police seek identification of suspects

Chamber hears ‘13 Ways to kill commerce’

U of A’s Heather Thomson dispels small business myths

Amnesty International worried about Alberta’s publicity campaign

Meanwhile, critics of Vladimir Putin being murdered at alarming rate

Wetaskiwin Bantam Warriors thump St. Albert in season opener

Bantam team showing lots of potential in 46-27 win

Testing winter feed

Testing winter feed lets producers know what nutrients are available

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision with cyclist on Highway 2

32-year-old male cyclist from Red Deer was pronounced dead at the scene

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Outspoken Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger stepping down later this year

Imperial Oil is about 70 per cent owned by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp., since 2013

‘Time to take action:’ Children advocates call for national youth suicide strategy

Council wants Ottawa to make reporting of suicides and attempted suicides mandatory for data collection

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Alberta spends $3M to hire 30 nurse practitioners for remote areas

Province has 600 nurse practitioners, but minister says most work in hospitals or outpatient clinics

Most Read