Letters to the Editor – from Sylvia Skahl

Mayor and councillor should resign over pecuniary interest

To the Editor:

I am a 35-year resident in Slave Lake, which I call home and now with so much unemployment just before COVID and employers losing so much the last 18 months, the idea for retirement took place! I have empathy for everyone who has suffered a loss or those of whom had to carry on, by choice or not! The federal government has given nearly every option to its provinces.

We as taxpayers in a community where we hope everyone will stay, ride this through and we expect that our local governing bodies will do the same without seeking personal financial gain.

I am requesting the resignation of our Mayor and councillor Brice Ferguson. The mayor and council member Brice Ferguson both voted for the paving of Gloryland Estates. As they both live in Gloryland Estates, there is a direct pecuniary interest (the actual or potential financial gain or loss for a council member, or those with whom they have personal involvement).

Section 172 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) says that a councillor should not take part in the discussion and decision-making on any matter in which they have a pecuniary interest.

Failure to follow the procedures set out in the MGA can lead to disqualification from council. The pecuniary interest is to be declared at the beginning of the discussion stage, well before voting takes place.

On the March 24th YouTube recording of the council meeting, it appears to me and many others that have watched Tyler make the statement, “ha ha full disclosure I live there,” that he clearly understands he has a pecuniary interest. Brice Ferguson also should have disclosed a pecuniary interest because of his family’s interest, as it is known that the owner and developer of Gloryland Estates is his father.

The resignation is to take effective immediately! Let’s put back into play where everyone in town can benefit from better roads. i.e.: S.W still waiting probably 20 years for sidewalks in some areas and others probably 30 years. But paving a subdivision that was stated in the planned agreement clause 3.8.2 (under Google Gloryland Estates Slave Lake.) that it shall be maintained as a gravel road subdivision puts the cost of the improvement on all taxpayers, rather than the homeowners in the area. One reason stated and voted on was “to beautify this subdivision.” This beautification will only benefit those living there.

Last I checked either you lived there or went to the school over there! Sorry no recreational facilities! Just lower taxes with large, large lots. So are the lake and rivers and sidewalks and roads that are our tourist attractions over there?

Resign immediately so we can get on with more transparent governing and one that will do for its voters firstly! And let’s work toward setting our priorities with everyone in mind.

Our town growth is obviously on a down slump. We need affordable taxes and affordable housing for all residents and all newcomers. If we have that then we will see future growth and resilient businesses!

Sylvia Skahl
Slave Lake, AB

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