Re: "Irricana CAO faces formal review following residents' complaints," article, Rocky View Weekly, April 26, 2022
In April of this year, you ran an article in your paper concerning the review of our CAO Barrie Hutchinson after multiple complaints. Just for clarification, there were a total of three complaints – one each from a resident and his adult daughter and one from a family acquaintance. That's hardly what I and many residents of our town would call a legitimate concern.
Towards the end of May, Strategic Steps Inc. presented the findings of their review to council, and the "Executive Summary" of that review has been on the Town website for anyone to see. The findings of the review basically found no merit to most of the accusations and the one issue which did have merit had ended long before the complaints were filed.
Mr. Hutchinson stepped in to help our town after our previous CAO resigned in 2020, and as far as I'm concerned (as well as the residents I have spoken with) he has done a great job. But no matter who you are, you can't please all the people all the time.
I was given a copy of a recent article printed in Airdrie Today (editor's note, this is the Rocky View Weekly's website) which had many misleading and incorrect information in it. For example in the first paragraph, you stated "and the CAO is currently on a leave after a review of his work was launched." The implication he is on a leave because of the review was not the case at all, the review as I stated above which you can verify by reading the "Executive Summary" posted on our website.
Also, in the same article, former councillor Ton van Arendonk made all kinds of allegations against the rest of council and administration, which I must say are false. In truth, Mr. van Arendonk made life unbearable for all concerned with his complete lack of understanding of the role of a councillor in municipal politics. For example, when the budget was presented to council for approval, Mr. van Arendonk argued it was incomplete – he wanted to see every GL line item for approval, even though in the EOEP (elected officials education program) he attended, it states council should not have to deal with detailed budget information that only administration needs.
There are many more incidents which indicate Mr. van Arendonk's lack of understanding, which are too numerous to mention here.
What bothers me most of all this foolishness is the fact that you are planning on printing these things without any kind of verification, just based on the word of someone who found out he couldn't get his own way, quit, then made all kinds of accusations.
I used to enjoy this paper, but I can see now the only real use for it is to start a campfire on the weekend.
Mayor for the Town of Irricana