More Transitions For Thorsby

  • Nov. 12, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Pipestone Flyer

Thorsby’s Mayor Barry Rasch has taken a month-long leave of absence for stress, and the Village’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Jason Gariepy has received from Council a notice of intention to be terminated without cause. This follows months of upsets starting with the firing of the fire chief, the entire volunteer fire department resigning in protest, the hiring of Gariepy which was seen as controversial by some, the refusal to rehire the fire chief, the resignation of two Village Council members as well as the Chamber of Commerce president and vice-president, and a shocking water rate increase. Council chambers have been filled to overflowing at most Regular Council meetings with residents barely concealing their hostility.

On October 21, 2014, Deputy Mayor Rick Hart called a Special Council Meeting to address a formal written letter received from Mayor Barry Rasch giving notice that he is taking a stress leave. The letter reads as follows: “Please accept this letter as formal written notice that I will be going on stress leave from Thorsby Council activities from October 20 – November 20, 2014. In my absence, please fill the Chair position and meeting expectations. I have realized the environment has become overwhelming on my health and I will take this time to evaluate whether I will remain on Council.”

Deputy Mayor Hart was appointed as Acting Mayor for the duration of Mayor Rasch’s absence. At the close of the meeting, Acting Mayor Hart made a brief statement requesting that Mayor Rasch be given the privacy that he needs during this period.

On November 5, 2014, another Special Meeting was called by Acting Mayor Hart to discuss matters related to the employment of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Jason Gariepy. Acting Mayor Hart had met with Gariepy on Tuesday, November 4, after the CAO returned from his two week stress leave. It was mutually agreed then that Gariepy would leave and that he would give Council a letter of resignation which Hart had drawn up by the Village lawyers along with a release form.

Rightly, Gariepy wanted his lawyers to have a look at it before he submitted it. He was to have it back by the next day, November 5. Unfortunately, due to a family medical emergency, he wasn’t able to get in touch with his lawyer.

Hart called a Special Meeting of Council on November 5, 2014. He and Councillors Beleshko, Burnett and Jardine voted unanimously in favour of the motion to give written notice of Council’s intention to terminate CAO Gariepy’s employment with the Village of Thorsby and his appointment as CAO, citing, “a change in direction and a change in leadership being required, and without cause.”

Council also agreed to put Gariepy on a leave of absence immediately and with pay, and asked that he, “not attend” the office without making arrangements prior to, with the Acting Mayor. Gariepy will be provided compensation in accordance with the terms of his written contract with the Village. Council had to pass that motion of intent to terminate Gariepy’s employment and appointment as CAO in order for Council to appoint another CAO.

During the November 5 Special Meeting, Council also appointed Thorsby Corporate Services Manager Christine Burke as the Acting CAO. Up until that point, Burke’s appointment had been on Gariepy’s authority. Burke’s appointment is effective as of November 5, 2014, and she will receive a bonus of $2,000 to be awarded for the performance of duties between November 5 and December 31, 2014.

Gariepy has until November 17 to get his letter of resignation in, or to ask for a meeting with Council. Once that’s in, his resignation will be accepted. Hart said this all being done with the lawyers and that he and the other Councillors will make no comment until the matter is settled.

“It’s a difficult time, but we will get through it,” said Hart, noting the most important thing is that Thorsby gets over the cycle of mistrust and lack of cooperation. “We’ve got to get our community back together.”

Just Posted

County of Wetaskiwin moves ahead on tax recovery sale

Revenue Canada agrees to let County of Wetaskiwin sell property

County of Wetaskiwin says four per cent tax increase to pay for province’s cops

By 2023 county will be looking at over four per cent tax increase to pay for provincial announcement

Canola pricing strategy

A look at the canola futures market in a strong carrying charge situation

County council supports speed limit change on #2A

Grain terminal company requesting speed limit lowered for traffic lights

Improvements complete at Wetaskiwin’s Hwy 13 and Hwy 814

Wetaskiwin Mayor credits community involvement for quick response

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

Day parole revoked for man who strangled wife, buried body in their Calgary home

Parole Board revoked Allan Shyback’s day parole after he had sex with a massage parlour worker

Alberta plans to reduce surgery wait-times by building operating rooms, using private clinics

Health minister says goal is to have 80,000 more surgeries done over the next 3 1/2 years

Sylvan Lake woman charged with fraud over $500,000

Rimbey RCMP launched an investigation in July 2019 with the suspect turning herself in on Aug. 30

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

No jail but big fine for Alberta store owner convicted of illegal gun sales

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, the Crown stayed the remainder of the charges against the father

Anti-money laundering agency warns casinos to watch gamers playing with bank drafts

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, issues operational alert

China hints at national security trials for 2 Canadians detained for one year

The two Canadians’ detention is largely seen as retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei exec

Teen seriously injured: Police in Lethbridge, Alta., charge 5 people in swarming

Police say a 16-year-old boy made arrangements to meet with a young woman before he was attacked

Most Read