We were a little surprised to see council take such serious action against its own members by imposing sanctions against Couns. Hanson, Wright and Kissel.
While we don’t have the full story regarding the “disclosure of confidential information” they apparently engaged in, we did print Letters to the Editor submitted by these three councillors, along with Coun. Gautreau. We’ve also printed letters submitted by members of previous councils, containing perhaps more disrespectful language – none of which resulted in sanctions restricting councillors in any way, or reducing their pay.
It’s important, in a democracy, to allow for the expression of dissenting opinions. When individuals feel passionately about certain issues, the language they use may not be as thoughtful as it could be, otherwise.
And Reeve Boehlke should know this – his choice of words has been less than courteous in the past, as well. In 2016, during a heated debate with then-coun. Margaret Bahcheli, Boehlke referred to his colleague as “missy” and recommended that she “take a Valium.” That same year, he told Rocky View Weekly certain members of council were “corrupt,” then admitted all councillors “stumble from time to time in adhering to the Code of Conduct.”
Council’s bylaw recommends an informal mediation process prior to the imposition of sanctions – but it looks like these councillors were not given the same leniency Boehlke benefitted from.