Letter: Council Misconduct: Turmoil in Town?

Excoriating coverage in the local media with reference to Council misconduct.
The Free Press headline, “Morinville councillor mocks municipal voting rules” (p. A16, November 1, 2016).

Could not avert my eyes. Had to read it.

Our very own Mayor and Councillors are implicated.

The article opines that voting irregularities warrant the resignation of one councillor in accordance with Section 175 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), sanctions against another under Section 172 and that the Mayor had contravened Section 183.

The reportage concludes that while Administration sought legal counsel and subsequently advised that “the Town is confident in its actions”, “senior members of Council failed to show leadership” by not contacting Municipal Affairs for a possible course of action regarding these matters.

Grabbed a mug of vintage Red Rose and a fresh, homemade pumpkin muffin.

The muffins are made from natural pumpkin, with whole wheat flour, a whisper of cinnamon, a smidgen of nutmeg, buttermilk and a dollop of raisins.

I digress…

Now… to the egregious incidents of alleged misconduct.
Some caveats apply:

Was I there? No.

Am I a lawyer? No.

Do I have even a nodding acquaintance with the (MGA)? No.

Do I understand all of the procedural legislative intricacies involved? No.

Has a lack of knowledge ever stopped me from having an opinion? No.

Are there serious transgressions here?

Let’s hope so!

Schadenfreude fuels our appetite for political scandal.

You can’t just watch “Anderson Cooper 360” for two hours a day… and then two more hours of “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon”… well you could… and then… David Brooks and Mark Shields on PBS… they’re just the best!


The article instructs that given the failure of “senior” members of Council to address these transgressions the next step would “require legal action by an elector to initiate a court process for dismissal of either of the two councillors” pursuant to…

I am not a lawyer.

Does it count if my Dad wanted me to be one?

Exhibit 1: Councillor Fitzgerald allegedly took the principled step of stating that he would not vote on something he was not privy to and knew nothing about. He asked the Mayor if he should vote on something he knew nothing about. The Mayor sensibly advised that it would be prudent not to vote on something he knew nothing about. Ummm…

Exhibit 2: Councillor Ladouceur publicly declared a pecuniary interest, but ended up inadvertently voting on the matter in question “as part of a consent agenda” because the item was not pulled. Uhhhh…

Exhibit 3: Councillor Dafoe laughingly asked if he should vote on another matter “saying he didn’t want to make any more headlines”. This alarming jocularity elicited “laughs and smiles from the Mayor and other Councillors”. There was also some giggling involved. Yep. Happened. Reportedly.

So, this is obviously a…

Excuse a sec.

I’m on muffin number two.

I think these things are making me thinner…

Paul G. O’Dea
Morinville Resident

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