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  • Writer's pictureSamanntha Wright

Your councillor has been sanctioned!

Hello everyone,

By now, I'm sure most of you are aware of the sanctions that have been imposed on Councillors Kevin Hanson, Crystal Kissel and myself. Last Tuesday, because of an alleged "breach of confidentiality" and for writing a letter to the editor that contained comments that they felt lacked "courtesy," our six colleagues chose to punish us through the following means:

- an inability to contact all staff, including the CAO (our sole employee) except for during council meetings;

- removal from all council appointed boards (boards that represent your interests);

- a reduction in pay of 30%;

- restricted travel that requires approval via motion of council. The alleged breach was in regards to a document we shared with our legal counsel when we had questions about the CAO hiring process last year. Since our lawyer is bound by solicitor client privilege, it is questionable whether he is an "outside party" as described in the alleged breach. Our letter to the editor was an opinion piece, sent to Rocky View Weekly, about what happened when we attempted to introduce a notice of motion on a best-practices CAO hiring policy as recommended by Municipal Affairs, the Alberta Ombudsman and the County's lawyer. If you recall, I shared it with you back in April when it was written. As I stated in my rebuttal to the accusations, I believe this to be a gross abuse of power. Even if there was any validity to their claims, the punishment far outweighs anything we have been purported to have done. Furthermore these sanctions go against the Municipal Government Act (overarching provincial legislation) which states that sanctions cannot impede a councillor's ability to do her job, something many of these sanctions clearly do. I have received a number of emails and phone calls of support and I want you to know that I appreciate them very much.  Please know that we are pursuing multiple avenues of response at this time and I will keep you abreast of any development. 

We are now going to challenge the sanctions in court. Our court date is set for January 22nd.

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