Below is a letter from Minister of Municipal Affairs, Rebecca Schulz to Mayor and Council. The Anchor received notification of this letter last week, but we have yet to see it referenced. While it is still hard to find, in the best interests of our readers we are reposting this publicly available letter here. The original can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/ma-minister-letter-chesteremere-mayor-council.pdf
November 22, 2022
Mayor Jeff Colvin
City of Chestermere
105 Marina Road Chestermere AB T1X 1V7
Dear Mayor Colvin and Council:
I am writing to you as the newly appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs following the letter of September 28, 2022, from the previous minister, advising that Douglas Lagore was appointed as Official Administrator for the City of Chestermere through Ministerial Order No. MSD:082/22.
The letter also advised that the Official Administrator would review council meeting minutes and any bylaws or resolutions passed, and has the authority under Section 575(2) of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to disallow any council resolutions or bylaws within 30 days of the resolution or bylaw being passed. It was further noted that any disallowed bylaws or resolutions would be deemed to have always been void in accordance with Section 575(2)(b) of the MGA.
I expect compliance with the decisions of the Official Administrator, and communication from the City of Chestermere with the ministry to demonstrate its compliance with those decisions. Further to my authority under Section 577 of the MGA, I am directing the city to provide my ministry with written information demonstrating the actions taken to comply with the decisions of the Official Administrator disallowing resolutions from the September 20 and 27, 2022, council meetings. This information must be provided to me by November 30, 2022.
The city must also provide my ministry with similar information for any future decisions of the Official Administrator that disallow one or more council resolutions or bylaws within five working days of the city’s receipt of the decision from the Official Administrator. If the city continues to act on the resolutions disallowed by the Official Administrator to date, acts on a bylaw or resolution disallowed by the Official Administrator, or incurs a liability or disposes of money or property without written approval from the Official Administrator, further actions may be considered pursuant to Section 575.2 of the MGA. This section of the legislation provides me with a range of enforcement options, including the possibility of dismissing one or more members of council, or the chief administrative officer(s), if the city does not properly act on the decisions of the Official Administrator
I expect the city will be accountable to the public and transparent on its actions in response to the Official Administrator’s decisions by publishing this letter, as well as the Official Administrator’s reports (including the reasons provided by the Official Administrator for any decisions), on the city’s website. The Official Administrator’s reports and reasons, along with this letter will also be published on alberta.ca to ensure the utmost transparency.
I trust the city will make addressing this situation a priority.
Sincerely, Rebecca Schulz Minister
Honourable Leela Aheer, MLA, Chestermere-Strathmore
Brandy Cox, Deputy Minister, Municipal Affairs
Shannon Dean, Councillor, City of Chestermere
Mel Foat, Councillor, City of Chestermere
Blaine Funk, Councillor, City of Chestermere
Stephen Hanley, Councillor, City of Chestermere Sandy Johal-Watt, Councillor, City of Chestermere Ritesh Narayan, Councillor, City of Chestermere
Kim Wallace, Acting City Director, Corporate Services, City of Chestermere
Cameron Wong, Interim City Director, Community Operations, City of Chestermere
Gary Sandberg, Assistant Deputy Minister, Municipal Services Division, Municipal Affairs
Douglas Lagore, Official Administrator
320 Legislature Building, 10800 – 97 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6 Canada Telephone 780-427-3744 Fax 780-422-9550