Every concern of the residents is a concern to council

    Setting the record straight!
    The Herald article dated the 15th, March 2015
    Here we are now 2 months into collecting signatures for 2 petitions. Here is what council has to say:
    • Mayor Patricia Matthews said attempts by city council to meet with petition organizers have been rebuffed, and she’s still not entirely sure of the specific concerns being raised.

    “We know there’s a petition, but we haven’t had the opportunity to talk to them about it — we made the offer but they haven’t taken us up on that,” she said.

    • “Every concern of the residents is a concern to council.

    • “If they choose to take these concerns to the public, that’s their prerogative.”

    • Petition organizers have been canvassing residents for weeks trying to drum up support, including regular weekends allowing people to drive up and scribble their name.

    The facts are:

    • We have approached the petition organizers and they have not agreed to meet with council.
    • Ms. Bold was the only petition organizer every approached by Council. Ms. Bold was contacted informally via Facebook by a councillor in January 2016. She thanked the councillor her for the offer and advised her that she had enough information to move forward. In February 2016 Ms. Bold received another informal request via Facebook from another councillor. The tone of the message was very defensive. The councillor requested a meeting with the entire city council. Not wanting to have a 1 on 7 meeting with council Ms. Bold requested a one-on-one meeting with the councillor that had been in contact with her. The councillor never agreed to a meeting. No further communication occurred.
    • Mayor Matthews why have you not attempted to contact Ms. Bold? Would it not be in the best interest of the city to have a one-on-one with Ms. Bold?

    Mayor Matthews suggests she’s still not entirely sure of the specific concerns being raised by the petition organizers.
    • Mayor, everything was relatively calm in our city before it was suggested that the Chestermere Utility (CUI) would increase our rates by 25%. At the same time we were also advised that the CUI had lost $1.4 million over a 3 year period without the knowledge of the CUI executives or its Directors (also council members).
    • The signage on Rainbow road suggests that tax increases are an issue as well.
    • The dots are there to connect.
    • “Every concern of the residents is a concern to council.

    • I am working with Ms. Bold to collect signatures for the petitions. I have attempted to setup a meeting with a councillor at the February 18th rate increase vote. This request was never accepted by the councillor. The issue I wanted to discuss with the councillor was to gain a better understanding for how they decided to vote in favour of the rate increase.
    • The same councillor approached me and a colleague in the Recreation Center and questioned why the Recreation Center gave us a location to collect signatures because of the money council provided the Recreation Center. They were reminded that they were giving tax payer’s money to the Recreation Center. They then said they had given me too enough of their time and walked out.
    • At the rate increase meeting on the 18th of February there was no open discussion with the residents attending. There was no attempt to setup a future meeting with residents that would allow questions from residents. Transparency?
    • Does this sound like a council that are open to discussion or care about the major concerns of the residents?
    • I understand why Ms. Bold would not accept a meeting with the entire council but felt more comfortable with a one-on-one meeting with the councillor requesting the meeting?

    • “If they choose to take these concerns to the public, that’s their prerogative.”
    • It seems that is the only option available to the residents. Thanks to Ms. Bold for her inspiration, courage and drive. This has put a great deal of pressure on her and her family.

    • Petition organizers have been canvassing residents for weeks trying to drum up support, including regular weekends allowing people to drive up and scribble their name.

    • Mayor Matthews the residents are not scribbling their names on the petition. These are very thoughtful and deliberate people, taking time to print their name, address and sign the petition. They were also sharing their support and thanks. How disrespectful can one be by insinuating there is no serious thought or reflection by those signing the petitions?
    According to a municipal affairs spokeswoman, the majority of petitions calling for municipal inquiries don’t go that far, with only five being launched since 2012 from the 19 petitions that have been forwarded to the ministry.

    To the Minister of Municipal Affairs:

    We strongly feel the residents of Chestermere deserve an inspection that is fair and just. Chestermere deserve to be the number 6 inquiry launched since 2012.
    When does the miss-information stop and the real information become public to the Chestermere residents? We deserve to hear the facts so we can better understand what is really going on.