Updates from Division One
Another month has flown by yet again. If anyone says “It’ll be snowing before you know it” one more time, I’ll take my 3-wood and let them feel the sting of the first frost on their butt. Ha.
All kidding aside, one would think that with the extra time for most folks based on the number of golfers I see at Wintergreen Golf Course (due to this pandemic or CERB), summer would feel like it was dragging along. Not so. Despite only recently being able to “see” folks in a safe social- distancing sense, most folks I chat with are picking up where they left off and trying to regain what’s been delayed or lost since Civid-19 hit. That’s a good sign of things to come if we all take the proper precautions and listen to the experts.
With regards to things that drag on. RV Council finally received a ruling from the provincial judge on the three sanctioned councillors. I’m sure as details unfold, so will the commentary. I’ve posted RVC’s media release for your information:
Council Reviewing Court Ruling on Sanctions
RVC Marketing & Communication Friday, July 17, 2020
Rocky View County Council is reviewing a 47-page Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruling on sanctions imposed on councillors Kevin Hanson, Crystal Kissel, and Samantha Wright.
On June 11, 2019, Council voted to sanction the three councillors under the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw for providing privileged County legal information to unauthorized parties, and for disrespectful and discourteous communications. Subsequently, the County’s Chief Administrative Officer put a new procedure in place for the sanctioned councillors to seek and receive information from the CAO and staff. The sanctioned councillors challenged these actions in Court.
On the suggestion that the CAO’s process for communication with councillors was somehow harmful to the constituents of the County, the Court found no substantial evidence that the residents of the electoral divisions represented by the sanctioned councillors were materially impacted.
On the Council sanctions, the Court found there was a valid and rational basis for the complaints against councillors Hanson, Kissel, and Wright, and that Council had not acted in bad faith in applying sanctions.
The Court found a direct connection between the breaches of the Code of Conduct and the sanctions imposed, calling it a “rational path.” Specifically, the Court found that Council’s actions in removing the councillors from boards and committees was a rational sanction for breaching confidentiality, and the adjustment of pay to compensate for this reduced workload was similarly rational. The Court also found that restrictions on travel and attendance at conferences were rational sanctions in response to disrespectful communications.
The Court did not find actual bias on the part of the investigator hired by Council to look into the issues involved. Many of the sanctions have expired during the litigation time, but the judge set aside the sanctions, referencing concerns about a perception of bias.
Rocky View County Council is now reviewing the Court’s full decision before determining next steps.
Can I say traffic woes? Yes the weekly bouts of congestion continue to grate on everyone who has to make their way through that area. Or not. I have spoken to many community leaders, the news media, my colleagues at RVC, other government officials and especially residents from Bragg Creek and Redwood Meadows. A reminder to all that this dilemma is top of mind and we are all trying to find a solution collectively. 2025 can’t come quick enough so we need a temporary solution in the meantime. Stay tuned.
It’s nice to see that the flood mitigation continues to move forward. It’s taking shape and by the lack of “communications” that I have been receiving, folks around here are getting used to the idea of flood protection and a future community pathway along the river.
As this is August, Council is on a break from our various meetings but that doesn’t mean I’m not up for a chat or to help with any concerns residents have to share. So please continue to reach out to me and in the interim, take full advantage of any “un-wet” weather and soak up what remaining sun gets left behind.
Until September, keep washing your hands frequently and maintain good social distancing practice for the sake of everyone.
— Cheers, Mark