Council finalizes CAO business

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Councillors met briefly Wednesday night in a special meeting of Morinville Town Council to conclude necessary business resulting from the July 14 dismissal of then Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Edie Doepker.

Doepker’s dismissal was the result of a 4-2 vote of council – Mayor Lloyd Bertschi and Councillor Paul Krauskopf voting against the motion for termination. Councillor David Pattison was not present at the special meeting July 14.

Wednesday night’s housekeeping involved rescinding Resolution 85/2009 which authorized the hiring of Doepker. Councillor’s Paul Krauskopf and David Pattison voted in opposition to the rescinding, resulting in a 4-2 split. Councillor Nicole Boutestein was not present at the July 27 meeting.

At the same meeting Council voted unanimously to appoint Acting CAO Debbie Oyarzun as Interim CAO until the end of this year while the town searches for a permanent replacement for Doepker. Oyarzun was hired as the Town of Morinville’s Deputy CAO prior to Doepker’s dismissal. Council discussed briefly how long the interim would be. Mayor Bertschi suggested the interim extend until Nov. 30 of this year; however, Councillor David Pattison recommended extending it to the end of 2011. Pattison’s motivation was a desire to have one CAO dealing with the 2012 budget.

“Budget process is very key for a CAO,” Pattison said. “I do not believe it would be fair to have an Interim CAO that would take the process part of the way. I am thinking that some date towards end of budget would be more in line. You may have situation where someone coming in might want to change things.”

Following the brief discussion and votes, councillors went in camera to discuss the remaining housekeeping items. After an hour of discussion, council resumed the public portion of the meeting, voting on a couple of motions arising from the in camera discussion, one of which was preserving the documentation on Doepker’s release under provincial requirements through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Alberta.

Nothing was discussed with respect to searching for a new CAO, although Mayor Bertschi said earlier in the meeting he expected such a search would take approximately three months.

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