Wheat­land look­ing into pos­si­ble con­flict of in­ter­est

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Res­i­dents in the Rock­y­ford area are con­cerned af­ter a Wheat­land County Coun­cil­lor may have im­prop­erly par­tic­i­pated in a dis­cus­sion and vote over an is­sue where there ap­pears to be a con­flict to of in­ter­est.

Wheat­land res­i­dent Eileen Walker con­tacted the Drumheller Mail in re­gards to a Wheat­land Coun­cil dis­cus­sion of a com­post fa­cil­ity and a de­ci­sion to test and mon­i­tor the fa­cil­ity. Her con­cern is the land in ques­tion is owned by the mother of Coun­cil­lor Brenda Knight.

Walker said about 70 showed up at the meet­ing for a dis­cus­sion of the Bio Can site, where neigh­bours say the stench has be­come un­bear­able. Coun­cil voted to con­tract Cal­gary Air­shed Zone for $4,675 to mon­i­tor the air for one month this sum­mer.

Walker says that Knight vot­ing jeop­ar­dizes the in­tegrity of the Wheat­land County.

Reeve Glenn Koester con­firms that Knight par­tic­i­pated in the vote and dis­cus­sion.

“Her mother is the owner of the land the site is on, but they don’t op­er­ate the site,” said Koester.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act, a coun­cil­lor must dis­close whether they have a pe­cu­niary in­ter­est, ab­stain from vot­ing on any ques­tion re­lat­ing to the mat­ters and ab­stain from the dis­cus­sion of the mat­ter. A pe­cu­niary in­ter­est is if the mat­ter could mon­e­tar­ily af­fect the coun­cil­lor, and em­ployer of the coun­cil­lor or the coun­cil­lor’s fam­ily.

“The only re­dress the Coun­cil has is to go to the Court of Queen’s Bench and have a judge look at it,” said Koester.

He says he wishes to ad­dress the is­sue.

“I would cer­tainly like to ad­dress it. It is an in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity is­sue for the whole coun­cil,” he said.

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