Closed doors meetings an abuse of legislation: writer

The Town of Sylvan Lake Council meeting held last night (June 11) is just another example of the abuse by the Mayor, Council ...

Dear Editor,

The Town of Sylvan Lake Council meeting held last night (June 11) is just another example of the abuse by the Mayor, Council and Administration of the legislation governing the framework for operating as set out by the provincial government in the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

The agenda was mysteriously changed at the last moment to include an “In Camera” session (i.e. secret, closed door discussion) with the agenda item regarding the Memorial Trail moved until after the “In-Camera” session and then a resolution passed with no discussion, debate or public scrutiny.

This is an abuse of the Act and a method that is used far too often by the Mayor, Council and Administration to bypass the requirement to discuss issues openly and in full view and scrutiny of the public.

Almost every council meeting has an “In-Camera” behind closed doors session in which there are discussions and decisions made in secret where the public (i.e. resident taxpayers) are not privy to the behind the doors discussions, agreements and deals made with each other. This is an abuse of the MGA, a violation of their oath of office and an outright disregard for their fiduciary duties.

A quote from the Honorable Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs, “The MGA sets out clear requirements for municipal councils to conduct their business “openly” (except in very limited and specific circumstances) … ”

The Mayor and Council of Sylvan Lake are abusing the MGA and disregarding their election promises of an “Open Governance and Full Disclosure” governance policy.

These are acts of blatant disregard to the electorate and the basic framework of the MGA that must be remembered when the next election comes.

Wayne Saastad,

Sylvan Lake

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