April 23rd, 2024

Letter: Seems as if councillors broke procedure, not the mayor

By Letter to the Editor on March 26, 2024.

Dear editor,

I was amazed to hear that our duly elected mayor was reproved for calling the city manager (and perhaps the council itself) to account for an apparently illegal action in restructuring city positions.

Perhaps this was an unwitting action on the part of both the council and the city manager, but I am quite sure their responsibility is to be aware of all legalities and to abide by them. Ignorance of the law does not remove responsibility under the law, especially for our leaders.

It does however, appear that council and the city manager did contravene Section 7 of Bylaw 4492 (Code of Conduct) in the matter of the city manager overstepping her mandate and the council’s support of same, specifically and especially Section 7.1: “Members shall uphold the law established by the Parliament of Canada and the Legislature of Alberta and the bylaws, policies and procedures adopted by Council and the Municipality.”

Council did not do this. They acted without the due restraints imposed by policies already in place.

Both city council and the city manager appear to be guilty of flouting this policy. I am not surprised they would vote to reprimand our mayor, untenable though that is, but I am hopeful that their own legal reprimand will be called for by the appropriate powers and, indeed, by the voters.

Council appeared to have been frustrated that their inappropriate actions would be aired in public rather than be dealt with in private strategy meetings. Silence the whistleblower!

Why would no council member have the courage to admit their own culpability and offer apology to our city for their own inappropriate, though perhaps inadvertent, action?

“But we’ve always done it that way,” is not a proper excuse.

What is the correction that will be made to their specific inappropriate action? Will the restructuring accomplished by the city manager be made null and void? Or will it be brushed under the rug? Or rather, will the rug be pulled out from under the mayor for raising the problem before the citizens of Medicine Hat?

Special note: I appreciate the city manager’s willingness to take responsibility for inadvertently overstepping her mandate. Kudos. I was appalled that the council called for the mayor to be silenced in bringing this information to the public.

Melody Deimert

Medicine Hat

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D Hoffman
D Hoffman
27 days ago

Excellent letter. I would add that it appears that the 8 councillors don’t understand the governing process. When a motion is brought forward before a governing body it is with the intent that the plan associated with the motion is reviewed/discussed and if approved the plan can proceed. In this case the 8 councillors were retroactively approving the plan put in place in July. The motion made should have indicated that they were approving something that had already been implemented. Very disappointed in these 8 councillors.