Morinville Chamber calling on Council to fill mayor’s chair immediately

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By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce (MDCC) is calling on Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes to call a special meeting of Council immediately in order to fill the chair left vacant by the passing of Mayor Paul Krauskopf.

In a press release issued Monday night, Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce President Simon Boersma said while the Chamber recognized the mayor’s passing put the community in a difficult time, but the business organization feels the Town requires clearly defined leadership. “Council needs to find the strength to lead right now,” Boersma said in the release. “Given the timeframe, Council needs to end the leadership crisis immediately and appoint a mayor or let the people decide in a snap by-election. They must act.

The matter of the Council vacancy was discussed at the July 3 Chamber meeting. As a result they are encouraging the Town to think about good governance as any company would do during a troubling and difficult period.

MDCC Director and Policy Chair David Marshall said a good governance model requires someone to be both in charge and responsible. “That’s why the Chamber, given the current political reality, took the position that a snap by-election was the best and fairest way to fill the vacancy,” Marshall said in the release.

Morinville Town Council held a special meeting July 11 at which time they voted 3-2 in favour of deferring the appointment of a new mayor until the Aug. 27 meeting, their first after the summer break.

Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes said Council had received a letter from the Chamber prior to the July 11 special meeting. That letter requested a by-election be held. Holmes said a by-election was not selected as an option for Council because of the proximity of the swearing in ceremony at the beginning of September and the Nomination Day for the fall election on Sept. 23. Holmes said with the time that has passed since the special meeting, the date between swearing in and Nomination Day would be even narrower.

Holmes said Council decided to wait until the Aug. 27 meeting to appoint a mayor, but in the interim Council does have someone in charge. “It needs to be made clear that Council does have someone in charge and responsible,” Holmes said. “The role of the Deputy Mayor is to assume the duties of the Mayor in their absence and I have done that under Council’s direction and will continue to do that until the next Regular Council Meeting.”

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3 Comments

  1. I would agree that a snap by-election would resolve the problem (if indeed there is a problem), but at what cost?

    If the Chamber of Commerce is willing to foot the bill, let’s go for it, but I (for one) am in NO mood for our precious tax dollars to be squandered on a by-election which resolves absolutely NOTHING!! What kind of idiots are you anyway? Council made its non-decision so let’s all just remember this when the real election comes around in October.

    I think we’ve all learned a LOT from this little fiasco, but now is not the time to piss even more money out the window merely to prove a point.

    Get real folks!

  2. Mr Chamber of Commerce:

    Please refrain from your attempt to put political pressure on this town, such as your suggestion for a useless bi-election. The position you are in wasn’t decided by the tax-payers in this community, it is not your place to get into the political arena. If this is your objective, step down and run for council.

  3. Well said Phil – so much MUCH better than my own initial comment!

    Perhaps the REAL question here is: just WHY is the Chamber so all-fired interested in a by-election as opposed, it seems, to any other solution? Having made their views known prior to the special Council meeting, why does that organization feel it necessary to, once again, call for a by-election? Just what is it the Chamber of Commerce hopes to achieve? Mr. Marshall’s press release statement that “…the Chamber, given the current political reality, took the position that a snap by-election was the best and fairest way to fill the vacancy…” seems to completely ignore the fact that Council DID tender a solution of sorts. Not too many of us are particularly pleased with Council’s non-performance over this issue, but even the most cynical among us would never countenance the expense of a by-election to fill ANY seat for such a short time!

    WAY too much politickin’ going on around here these days, eh?

    Have a nice day!

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