The term ‘witch hunt’ is being grossly overused south of the border, but when Coun. Samanntha Wright – who is currently in danger of being disqualified from Rocky View County (RVC) council – used it to describe what is currently being done to her within council chambers, she may not be entirely wrong.
While her decision to participate in the discussion and vote on a proposed development adjacent to her own property was certainly questionable, she did so on the advice of Municipal Affairs (MA), her fellow councillors, and the County’s CAO. True, she didn’t pursue a legal opinion prior to the vote, but it seemed unnecessary when all other avenues had given her the go-ahead.
Additionally, she wasn’t the only councillor who was called out for having a potential conflict of interest regarding that application – Deputy Reeve Al Schule had acted as a consultant for the developer prior to his election. Certainly, his interest may not be as specifically pecuniary as Wright’s, but as we wrote in an editorial after the Jan. 8 meeting where this item was initially presented, “outside knowledge or involvement in the matter” creates a “reasonable apprehension” for bias.
It raises the question, then, why Wright’s decision to participate is being used as an avenue to have her thrown off council, while Schule’s involvement remains a non-issue. We don’t want to say it’s a ‘witch hunt,’ but we do wonder – if she wasn’t the most vocal sanctioned councillor, would this kind of action still be pursued?