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Reply with quote  #1 
Given the contents of today's main page and the information it discloses, I am opening this thread to discuss this topic in a single place.

Here is a permanent link to the details:

http://mybirdie.ca/files/6489de6261242fefc0d0336037ddb684-1399.html
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PrairieFire

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow.... I am not sure what to say, thanks for the information.
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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #3 
Does a Property Appraisers report exist showing a change in value of properties located near the site in question?
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kellex98

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Since2000
Does a Property Appraisers report exist showing a change in value of properties located near the site in question?


The appraiser informed the property owner adjacent to 80 Salisbury that he could not do a complete appraisal without a Phase 2 Environmental Survey done to see if there is any leakage. The problem is that when the city offered the current owner of 80 Salisbury a Phase 2 survey to be done at the city's expense, the new owner refused.  So where does this leave the other owners around #80.  They know there "might" be an issue and should disclose this if/when they sell, but this "might" negatively impact their sale price.
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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #5 
So where does this leave the other owners around #80.you ask?

They can get a Phase 2 Environmental Survey done if they are concerned.

sounds like the phase 1 wasn't done well.

Unnecessary Phase II ESA – This unfortunately happens too often in the consulting industry.  Many in the “environmental business” will do a Phase I ESA for a very low price. Sometimes this price is far too low for them to reap any profits. Instead of pricing their projects accordingly right from the beginning, they will try to  make it up through recommending Phase II ESA work. Think of this, you hired a firm to do a Phase I ESA, and they were the low bidder. They’re going to rush through the Phase I and conclude you need additional testing to confirm the presence (or more likely the absence) of possible contamination at the property. Of course, that initial Phase I Environmental Site Assessment also goes to your bank or lending institution, and there is no way they’re going to let you proceed without getting that Phase II. You’re stuck. You have to do the Phase II if you want the deal to proceed. You can always walk away from the deal, but chances are you’ve invested time and money, and that’s not an option. If you go with the low bidder, you get low-balled on a Phase I ESA, and gouged on a Phase II that you might not even need.
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PrairieFire

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Since2000
Does a Property Appraisers report exist showing a change in value of properties located near the site in question?


I don't know if it matters or not. The attached link talks about wether or not you could be affected. I'm not sure you have to prove anything other than the potential to be monetarily affected existed rather than having to prove that a monetary change did occur. Since someone is spending there own money here I am not inclined to think that crouse has a strong case.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #7 

As I read the documentation provided in the link, the central allegation by Steve Stone is that Crouse breached the pecuniary interest provisions of the Municipal Government Act. The Application does not and will not solve any environmental problems that may or may not exist.

The central question is this: Does Crouse have a pecuniary interest in these matters namely (1) the double dipping matter, (2) the Draper v. Hennigar et al lawsuit, and (3) the 80 Salisbury Avenue matter and secondly, did he breach his obligations arising from that pecuniary interest.

Section 170 (1) of the MGA says that a councillor has a pecuniary interest in a matter if: (a) the matter could monetarily affect the councillor or an employer of the councillor, or (b) the councillor knows or should know that the matter could monetarily affect the councillor’s family.

Given the wording of Section 170 (1) it would seem clear that Stone does not have to prove that Crouse's lands were contaminated and did in fact lose value .... all that is required is evidence that there is an allegation of a contamination problem which COULD affect property in the neighbourhood. Craig Skarupa made that allegation which put Crouse on notice.  Further, Crouse emailed Skarupa saying that the reason matters were being dealt with in camera was because publication of the motion to do an environmental study COULD affect the value of land in the neighbourhood.  Since Crouse's land is one of the neighbouring properties, it seems clear that he has a pecuniary interest in the matter.

Secondly, did he breach his duties in the case of a pecuniary interest? It seems clear that he did since he did not recuse himself, participated in the decision making process, and voted on the motion relating to performing an environmental phase 2 on 80 Salisbury.

If there is in fact environmental damage arising from the leaching of hazardous waste, that would be a matter for another lawsuit on another day.

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Willy

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well Hallelujah. It's time to run this man out of town. If this doesn't work -well - we're doomed.
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Murray Lambert

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FYI: Following an in camera session at the previous council meeting, St. Albert City Council approved a motion to fund and commission a Phase II Environmental Study at the 80 Salisbury Ave. location. Voting in opposition were Councillor Heron and not surprisingly, Mayor Crouse. As previously noted however, it should be realized that the application before the courts regarding pecuniary interest on the part of the mayor is separate from whatever results this environmental study may produce and from which subsequent legal action may occur.
 
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #10 
What I don't get is why doesn't anyone on council remind him (on the record) that he shouldnt be voting on pecuniary issue motions? I know he thinks there is no issue but then when he puts off things so he can seek legal consultation - that clearly tells you he knows it is. Especially when he is the only one voting against a motion that will negatively affect him. Afaic he can't get out of town fast enough.
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Willy

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Reply with quote  #11 
I'm curious to see how much space and place the Gazette gives this petition. They can't ignore it but at the same time their dear buddy is on the ropes and we all know how they don't like to make him look bad. I'm sure the Gazette will spin this as grandstanding and frivelous.

When I was a young teenager I delivered the Gazette for a couple years. Ernie Jamieson, publisher and founder, lived in Grandin and was one of my customers. He paid for his weekly paper just like any other subscriber then. Even had a nice Christmas bonus for his paper boy. I bet if he would be spinning in his grave if he knew how it was operated today.
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Kevin

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
What I don't get is why doesn't anyone on council remind him (on the record) that he shouldnt be voting on pecuniary issue motions? I know he thinks there is no issue but then when he puts off things so he can seek legal consultation - that clearly tells you he knows it is. Especially when he is the only one voting against a motion that will negatively affect him. Afaic he can't get out of town fast enough.


It is not councils job to decide for someone that they have pecuniary interest it is that councillors decision at their own peril.

See the last paragraph of page 1.

http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/documents/ms/Pecuniary_interest__2013(1).pdf

Why would delaying something in chambers so that someone could get an external opinion as to their situation in a possible pecuniary situation be a bad thing? How does this make it an admission of guilt?

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Willy

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin


It is not councils job to decide for someone that they have pecuniary interest it is that councillors decision at their own peril.

See the last paragraph of page 1.

http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/documents/ms/Pecuniary_interest__2013(1).pdf

Why would delaying something in chambers so that someone could get an external opinion as to their situation in a possible pecuniary situation be a bad thing? How does this make it an admission of guilt?


You're right it's not their job but what about morally or ethically. If I watch a crime in progress it's not my job to arrest them but isn't it morally or ethically the thing to do to call the Police? If they do not speak up, does that not make them complicit in those actions in question? What about that part of the mga that states something to the effect that if the councillor in question will not recuse himself then council is required or obligated to initiate proceedings to have said councillor removed from their position?

Sure it's not an admission of guilt. I didn't say he was admitting anything - but by his actions, which clearly he was in a conflict of interest, is feeling the walls close in. You'll argue that he is exercising due diligence in seeking legal council, sure. But should he delay proceedings to to get said legal advise to, again, protect HIS (not the Citys) pecuniary interests? Absolutely not as that alone puts him, AGAIN, in a conflict of interest. He should seek Legal advise on his own dime and time and not delay proceedings so he can try and cover his own ass. Would he delay anything for, say, the Erin Ridge Action Commitee, could seek legal advise and hold up proceedings to accommodate them? Hell no! If he was acting as he should have been in the first place then he wouldn't have to delay anything to get said advise.
How do we know he is not using City resources (Belke or other city employed or contracted legal firms) to seek this legal advise or opinion? (Which would be for his personal gain.) We don't, but by his past actions I wouldn't be surprised if he is.

The following is a direct quote from the last sentence on page 5 of the mga you linked.
"If you are in doubt as to whether you have a pecuniary interest, obtain a written legal opinion from your own solicitor."
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Kevin

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
I know he thinks there is no issue but then when he puts off things so he can seek legal consultation - that clearly tells you he knows it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
 
The following is a direct quote from the last sentence on page 5 of the mga you linked.
"If you are in doubt as to whether you have a pecuniary interest, obtain a written legal opinion from your own solicitor."


That document wasn't the MGA it is a document provided as advise by municipal affairs to councillors for their use.

With the two statements above, how can you say you are not finding him guilty.



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PrairieFire

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Reply with quote  #15 
"With the two statements above, how can you say you are not finding him guilty."

Since this issue was delayed for the Mayor to get a legal opinion, where is it? An innocent Man would be running to the press to release this right about now.

For now if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck it probably isn't a backyard chicken.


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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #16 

I'm wondering what Crouse would be getting advice about.

According to Skarupa's Affidavit he asked Crouse why the motions were being dealt with in camera. Crouse replied that they were being dealt with in camera because publication of the motion could affect land and land values.  Obviously Crouse was of the opinion that publication of a motion to finance a phase 2 environmental study could affect land values in the neighbourhood and Crouse Developments Ltd. owned a house in the neighborhood.

It would seem that he didn't need legal advice on a yellow sticky note to figure out that he was in a pecuniary interest problem.

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Willy

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin




That document wasn't the MGA it is a document provided as advise by municipal affairs to councillors for their use.

With the two statements above, how can you say you are not finding him guilty.




As for the first statement. You're splitting hairs. Ok it's a supporting document to help people understand the MGA. It puts it in layman terms and gives advise on how to conduct yourself.

As for the second statement? You are right.. As far as I am concerned he is guilty. How very astute of you. But that's just my opinion which accounts for nothing as I am a layman and he hasn't been found in violation of the mga, YET.

Are you saying you condone his actions in all of this?
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Kevin

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy

Are you saying you condone his actions in all of this?


Never said I condone anyone's actions in anything.

What I think doesn't matter. It is up to the judge.

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Willy

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin


Never said I condone anyone's actions in anything.

What I think doesn't matter. It is up to the judge.


You seemed so interested in mine, so I'm interested in yours. Then why engage others about their opinion if you're not willing to share yours?
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kellex98

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Reply with quote  #20 
Willy, when the matter of 80 Salisbury came up in council recently, Councillor Mackay did ask the Mayor if he wished to recuse himself in the matter. In fact gave him ample opportunity to do so. But the Mayor just dismissed him with a curt "Thank you" and proceeded with the discussion and remainder of the agenda item. So he wilfully chose to participate and not recuse himself. So he will be solely responsible for whatever consequences are bestowed upon him.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #21 

Stone's Application alleges that Crouse breached his pecuniary interest obligations in the double dipping episode, the Hennigar lawsuit, and in the 80 Salisbury matter.

One facet of this story which may be overlooked is the fact that many of the Councillors aided and abetted Crouse in this mis-adventure over the past two years.

It was obvious that Crouse had a pecuniary interest conflict in relation to his expense accounts. However, when he did not recuse himself, Cathy Heron brought motions to "split" the original motion calling for a forensic audit of Crouse's expense claims. This procedural tactic was instrumental in derailing Hughes' motion calling for an independent audit. Later on when Draper suggested that all of Council ... not just Crouse be "audited" Heron, Brodhead, and Osborne were right on board with that idea. The result was to distract attention from Crouse's double dipping.

In relation to the Draper v. Hennigar et al lawsuit, Crouse had a pecuniary interest in this matter since he was named as a Third Party. He did not recuse himself. When MacKay made a motion to put a limit on the amount of money the City would spend to fund this frivolous lawsuit, Cathy Heron again jumped on the Crouse bandwagon. If memory serves me correct, she demanded the motion be split ... and then introduced a series of amendments to denude the original motion from its intended purpose. The rest of the Four Horseman jumped on the band wagon to support her plan to continue to fund this lawsuit out of the public trough.

By jumping on the Crouse bandwagon, Brodhead, Osborne, and Heron basically aided and abetted Crouse in his flagrant violations of the pecuniary interest laws. It is hardly a record of which to be proud.

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Kevin

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy


You seemed so interested in mine, so I'm interested in yours. Then why engage others about their opinion if you're not willing to share yours?


I have shared my opinion. Here it is in summary.

With respect to 80 Salisbury, I don't believe there is a problem of pecuniary interest for the Mayor. I do believe it was mishandled and this has made things look worse than they are.

Even though there would appear to be a lot of noise about pecuniary interest, no one on council seems to believe it was a problem either. It is not councils job to make the decision for another council that a pecuniary interest problem exists. However, if a councillor does not recuse themselves in a situation that another councillor believes is pecuniary, they have a responsibility to deal with it in chambers. This has not happened and if Mr. Stone succeeds in his goal (this time), I think the remaining sitting councillors should be ashamed that they did nothing about the possible violation and placed the burden of dealing with it on a resident.

If you make the effort to back through the historical posts here, you will see that I am the one who offered the first $20 towards the $500 cost of this action (other legal costs aside). Ted was the only person to agree to join in.

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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #23 
One could argue that almost anything the council approves - tax rates, approval of new neighbourhoods, transit, police and fire budgets, facilities, etc Could (and does) impact the value of properties owned by all council members..
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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy
I'm curious to see how much space and place the Gazette gives this petition. They can't ignore it but at the same time their dear buddy is on the ropes and we all know how they don't like to make him look bad. I'm sure the Gazette will spin this as grandstanding and frivelous. When I was a young teenager I delivered the Gazette for a couple years. Ernie Jamieson, publisher and founder, lived in Grandin and was one of my customers. He paid for his weekly paper just like any other subscriber then. Even had a nice Christmas bonus for his paper boy. I bet if he would be spinning in his grave if he knew how it was operated today.


In fairness to the Gazette, the story occupies the bottom strip of the front page of today's edition. Good on them.Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 8.14.51 AM.png  
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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #25 
@since2000, one could argue that.... and that may indeed be Crouse's defense.... But just because one could argue, does not mean it makes any logical sense in any way, shape, or form.
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