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    Inquiry cost comes from budget not new taxes

    re: Global newscast televised on the Friday the 25th of March, 2016.
    The newscast was about the petition that was presented to the Minister of Municipal Affairs on Thursday the 24th of March requesting an inquiry into the affairs of the Mayor & Council of Chestermere.
    The mayor says ‘If Municipal Affairs does an investigation it will cost all of us 10s of thousands of dollars that will impact all of us as taxpayers’.

    Will this cost be a burden on Chestermere residents? I contacted Press Secretary Greer on the Thursday the 31st of March to get an answer to this question. There is no fee charged to the municipality of Chestermere for any inquiry. The province will use provincial money to perform the inquiry. This money is in the Department Municipal Affairs budget. There will be no increase in provincial taxes to support this inquiry. The only cost that could impact the residents of Chestermere is the cost of City Hall employees responding to questions from those performing the inquiry. The manpower exists in the City of Chestermere today, paid for by our current tax dollars. If there are other costs associated with an inquiry that will affect the tax payers then someone please share the specifics. In my experience in a public company, audits are a part of life and are usually handled by existing staff.

    The face of the Petition?
    There are 7 people that have become the face of the petitions that were circulated around the city of Chestermere. These people are regular Chestermere residents that are between the ages of 45 and 63. Councillors have suggested that they have tried to reach out and talk to these individuals. The issue is not between the city and the signature collectors. There are over 5,400 people that are saying they have concerns. The signatures have been collected and by talking to 1 or 2 of the people collecting signatures would have not altered the outcome. The petition organizers provided the vehicle for the residents of Chestermere to have a voice. If the petition organizers were key to the success of the petitions there would be only 7 signatures on the petition.

    Let’s not lose sight of the main issues:
    Let’s move forward and take the lead from Municipal Affairs. We can’t lose sight of the reason for the petitions and why the petitions had so much support from the Chestermere residents.