Acme In­spec­tion Re­port of­fers rem­edy to coun­cil

Mu­nic­i­pal Affairs re­port makes 17 so­lu­tions

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Mayor of Acme said a re­port from Mu­nic­i­pal Affairs is a doc­u­ment that the vil­lage can use to make im­prove­ments.

Last week the vil­lage re­ceived a Mu­nic­i­pal In­spec­tion Re­port that was or­dered in Jan­uary 2015.

“To us, it has vin­di­cated some of the things we have been do­ing, and it also high­lighted that we made a cou­ple mis­takes and we are well on the process of clean­ing those things up,” said Mayor Bruce McLeod. “They rec­og­nize that in the re­port, so that is a good thing.”

The path to the Mu­nic­i­pal In­spec­tion was long and wind­ing, with is­sues that orig­i­nated from ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the 2013 elec­tion process. Some res­i­dents legally chal­lenged the elec­tion, and while there were ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, the court main­tained the elec­tion was valid.

A group of res­i­dents also chal­lenged a tax re­cov­ery sale in June of 2014.

As well, in June of 2014, a pe­ti­tion op­pos­ing the re­zon­ing a par­cel of land known as the Tire Park was pre­sented to coun­cil. The coun­cil deemed the pe­ti­tion as in­suf­fi­cient, and went ahead and re­zoned the par­cel of land. The op­pos­ing pe­ti­tion­ers sent the pe­ti­tion and their let­ter of con­cerns to Mu­nic­i­pal Affairs.

In Septem­ber of 2014, a se­cond pe­ti­tion ask­ing the Min­is­ter to “or­der an in­quiry into the affairs of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the con­duct of the CAO, ad­min­is­tra­tion and Mayor and Coun­cil in re­la­tion to the re­fusal of Coun­cil to lis­ten to elec­tors, pe­cu­niary in­ter­est of coun­cil­lors, treat­ment of res­i­dents by staff, con­fi­den­tial­ity, min­utes of meet­ings, and other de­fi­cien­cies in the man­age­ment of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

While this pe­ti­tion did not meet the re­quire­ments, the min­is­ter re­quested that staff con­duct a pre­limi-

nary re­view. Based on this re­view, coun­cil was in­formed an in­spec­tion was war­ranted.

The find­ings were pre­sented at an open house on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 28.

From the in­spec­tion, there were 17 rec­om­men­da­tions. They range from im­prov­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the com­mu­nity, to skill de­vel­op­ment for staff, to fol­low­ing ex­ist­ing pro­ce­dures and re­view­ing by­laws and de­ci­sions.

“When I did a quick re­view of the doc­u­ment af­ter the meet­ing, I would sug­gest we have done well over half of the rec­om­men­da­tions,” said McLeod. “Th­ese are things we have to re­spond to the Min­is­ter on how we are do­ing on this. On a cou­ple, we are go­ing to need time, but we will get done.”

The re­port cites is­sues with staffing, in par­tic­u­lar, the turnover of CAOs.

“Since 2009 the Vil­lage ad­min­is­tra­tion has been led by sev­eral Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cers (CAOs). This high ad­min­is­tra­tive lead­er­ship turnover, to­gether with in­ter­mit­tent pe­ri­ods when the As­sis­tant CAO served as In­terim CAO, has had a cu­mu­la­tive and de­bil­i­tat­ing ef­fect on the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion and com­mu­nity,” it states.

Mayor McLeod also ac­knowl­edges this was an is­sue. “I am not blam­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion. We have been through a num­ber of CAOs. We have been floun­der­ing a lit­tle bit but we are get­ting there, and I think they rec­og­nize this.”

The re­port can be found at www.mu­nic­i­palaf­fairs.al­berta.ca/doc­u­ments/ms/Acme_In-spec­tion_Re­port_Fi­nal.pdf

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