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The right to demand more from council

Dear Editor,

When is enough enough? As one of thousands of Rocky View County (RVC) taxpayer “shareholders,” it is time we all voice our dissatisfaction with the toxic environment on council and within RVC staff – an environment the current council leadership seems to have created.

We have democratically-elected councillors representing their divisions being muzzled, we have the integrity of the process of our CAO's hiring being questioned, we suddenly have significant experienced RVC staff turn-over, we have well-established processes and procedures being ignored, and we have a council divided and in clear conflict – to a point where they are proposing taxpayers pay for an outside legal firm to investigate each other. Can it get any more bizarre?

As shareholders, we all have a right to question this type of chaos. If this was a publicly-traded company, we would be asking some serious questions and we would expect transparent, documented and audited reporting, as well as an action plan that achieves cohesive results. One critical result we all should demand is council leadership turning this into a functioning group looking after our rights and tax dollars. 

We can clearly see the City of Calgary connected to each of our divisions. With Calgary expansion and the continued infrastructure development, the once-rural communities such as Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane, are now larger commuter towns. Thus, we now have the creation of a regional board, with Calgary currently in the driver's seat on implementation. More than ever, we need a committed, cohesive and united council to look after our RVC interests. Calgary will affect our current lifestyle – some will view it positively and some negatively. We need a council that looks out for our interests in an impartial manner, ethically and within the code of conduct.

As taxpayer shareholders, we should give the current council one month to sort out this leadership mess. If this does not happen, there clearly will be a lack of confidence in the current leadership and a change should be demanded. As shareholders, each one of us can vote by contacting Alberta Municipal Affairs (MA) to request a full audit of RVC, including decision processes and financial tax-dollar spending. We can assume the new CAO, who serves taxpayers as well as council, has documented all procedures and spending that has occurred during this leadership void. The CAO has an obligation to taxpayers to ensure proper guidance is provided to ensure cohesiveness and assisting good decision-making.

Council leadership has a chance to lead for all of us. If the skill set and maturity are not forthcoming, as shareholders, we need to demand an MA intervention and investigation. The stakes are high for RVC and we need to demand more. It is now up to all of us to demand a stop to this insanity.

Gordon Keon
Division 2