Three sanctioned councillors requested permission Sept. 24 to attend a convention hosted annually for the governments of rural municipalities around Alberta. At that time, many council members seemed surprised Coun. Crystal Kissel, on behalf of herself and Couns. Samanntha Wright and Kevin Hanson, introduced the motion.
Reeve Greg Boehlke said he didn’t see any need for it, telling the councillors “there’s nothing in the sanctions to stop you from doing your duty” as an elected representative of their respective divisions. He went on to say the trio had been spreading “rumours” that they were unable to attend various County functions as a result of the sanctions, which he said was untrue.
It was “ridiculous,” he added, for the sanctioned councillors to imply that they were being prevented from fulfilling their mandated responsibilities – but then immediately voted against a motion that would have – according to his own previous comments –allowed them to do exactly that. And now, despite the fact that Kissel’s original motion was carried, council has apparently reconsidered its position and feels the sanctioned councillors should no longer be allowed to attend.
This convention is an opportunity for council to learn about issues impacting rural municipalities in Alberta, to collaborate with neighbours, to explore best practices – it’s not a vacation. It’s part of the job.