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Reply with quote  #76 
I see this entire motion thing by Heron quite differently.

It was well known that Russell was going to move the motion in the beginning and Heron jumped at the opportunity to put it forward before him, taking it out of the hands of Russell.

I saw that as a deliberate move based on a belief that the ministry would decline the request and Heron's side could then say, see, I told you so, nothing's wrong. It was little more than a deliberate move to try and silence the public criticism council was being subjected too, including from supporters of the 'fab four'.

If the ministry returns a 'guilty as charged verdict' from a few key public complaints I am aware of, (including one of my own), perhaps even Heron's supporters will learn that her lead may have initiated her own demise. It may even dash any hope of a further chance to remain on council.

Keep in mind that more than one of those public complaints centred on the former city manager as well as the appointment of Prefontaine to a senior administration position, which was clearly in breach of proper conduct for any council in many people's minds. While the minister did not explicitly state that to city council in her letter, we who laid those complains (that certainly must have added weight to the decision to conduct an inspection), fully expect that appointment to be a key part of said inspection.

Should Heron decide to take a run at the mayor's chair as many suspect has been her goal all along, she will carry that baggage into a campaign where many of her past supporters might leave their captain to go down with the ship. She may very well have her political career ended prematurely in her view, and properly in the view of a host of others.

At least that is the way I read it.
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Dennis Arneson

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Reply with quote  #77 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellex98
I don't think this is really about cost. I don't know what Councillor Heron expected would happen...maybe that after their preliminary interviews they would determine an inspection was not warranted? Or that the inspection would only focus on what she thought they should focus on? But inviting them in opened up the whole gamut. You are right Dennis that the MGA says a fee might be charged. The motion asking them to inspect was open ended and could have gone in any number of directions. I think what made Heron sound ridiculous in the paper was commenting on having to pay and on the scope of the inspection followed by her comment that she would not have brought the motion forward if she had known this was the direction it was going to go in. Sounds silly, immature and like she was uninformed. As for some of the other councillors, I think they are fine with the fee to have the government come in, do their thing and determine once and for all what is good and what is bad. Hopefully this will allow the next council in the Fall to start with a clean and clear slate! I think if she had not brought the motion forward, Councillor Russell would have, because he, Mackay, and Hughes all really wanted the inspection.


Kellex98
Agreed I don't think cost is or should be the issue. As far as the Gazette article, yes perhaps better word could have been chose by Heron. But after all, as recently posted here, we all mispeak or mistep at some point. lPerhaps this is one of those circumstances. I don't know. At least one other current Council member has seemed to gained a measure of forgiveness on this site for "mispeaking" . In fairness, perhaps that courtesy could be extended in this case.
I also expect all Councilors voting in favor of requesting the Inspection truly were in favor of the inspection being conducted and clearing the air as it were. I'm not buying into some of the conspiracy theories bring tossed about. Let's let the Inspection take place and deal with the outcome.
So all that being what it is, if indeed Heron did not properly research prior to presenting her motion, are Councilors who supported her guilty of the same?
Secondly, and I haven't seen Councillor Russell's motion or looked at the meeting tape, what would have been different if his motion had passed?
Perhaps you can clarify.
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Dennis Arneson

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Reply with quote  #78 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theskeptic

Dennis: I recognize that the only possible defence of Heron is to attempt to employ the over used "moral equivalency" argument. That is ... If Heron should not have introduced this motion then all those who voted for the motion are equally in error.

However, as is often the case, the moral equivalency argument doesn't bear up to analysis because the two situations attempting to be compared are not logically comparable. That seems to be the case in this situation.

Heron: brought a motion because:
1. Her friend/hero/buddy, Patrick Draper, had suggested that he would be glad to have a municipal inspection. Draper, the consumate game player probably assumed that either (a) the province would refuse to do the inspection or (b) if they did an inspection he would get to talk and influence the ultimate report because it would be a bureaucrat to bureaucrat thing.

2. It was probably the foregoing reasoning that influenced Heron to bring the motion as she was prepared to take any steps necessary to sweep the Prefontaine problem and Crouses many problems under the rug. (At the time she attempted to justify the motion with her story about Councillors bullying and intimidating staff)

3. Heron, it seems actually didn't want the inspection and didn't think an inspection would be ordered for a large city, brought the motion so that when the Prov. declined to do an inspection she and the other 3 could say ..... "see .. no problems.

4. In contrast, MacKay, Russell, and Hughes, wanted the inspection and voted for it even though there would be costs.

Consequently, there is not an "equivalency" between Heron's position and the others on Council because they are not equivalent.  However the concern remains as to Herons intellectual gravitas and business experience since she seemed perfectly happy to execute Draper's suggestion that they ask for a municipal inspection but,obviously, didn't consider the cost or the possibility that it may come to fruition.



Skeptic:
Respectfully, your response is not up to your normally high standard. With all the "probably's" in your response it seems to me you are presenting much speculation and conjecture. Again, I don't necessarily buy into, or see the need to expound on a conspiracy theory on this. After all Russell's motion would have gone forward if Herons did not. Being the motion passed 5 - 2 the 4 -3 issue seems to me to be moot.
I'm not feeling well so please forgive any ramblings...this time!
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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #79 
Quite frankly I'm growing very weary of the attention being given to whatever Councillor Heron was thinking or more specifically what she knew or didn't know. The truth of the matter is that requesting Municipal Affairs to conduct an inquiry was hardly of her singular doing. As Head Honcho has indicated there was considerable public pressure being exerted on the government long before any idea of such a motion even existed. In fact, a half dozen or more submissions were made by individuals citizens and groups. One of these consisted of a comprehensive document originating from the St. Albert Citizens' Coalition (SACC) and duly signed by over fifty very concerned residents. Hand delivered in December 2015, its receipt was acknowledged and further contact ensued. Following a preliminary review the Minister's decision to intervene was announced and delivered.
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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #80 
I would just love to know what Crouse has planned next for his career?

I cannot fathom he would be able to continue a career in politics with all the baggage he will be lugging around...........
And yet I cannot imagine him leaving the limelight of public service. I have a feeling he really loves being "the man".

Should be interesting if a party saddles their hopes on a mayor with a MBA who does his accounting with a shoebox.
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Kevin

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Reply with quote  #81 

It has been an interesting last little while.  

There has been a post that Natalie Joly should be ashamed of herself because of her "utter lack of respect for our duly elected MP".  

Hmmm, what about the utter lack of respect for certain duly elected members of our council in these forums, yet no one here sees anything wrong with this.

There has been a post condemning the author of an article because he "used the old name calling tactic as a substitute for rational argument". 

Hmmm, sounds a lot like the name calling in a large number of the posts in these forums. 

The last couple days we have seen complaints here because Councillor Heron was surprised and concerned that the inspection motion would cost the City between $60k and $120k, therefore she must have been unprepared when she put the motion forward.  

Hmmm, there has been no talk about Councillor Russell putting forward a motion to sell millions of dollars of land that the City doesn't even own. (Good thing the guy you hate so much realized this and had the motion amended.) I guess Councillor Russell was prepared and intended to attempt to sell private property.

While I am on the Councillor Russell train... 

Hmmm, lets talk about Councillor Russell who released "In Camera" information to the public in the last council meeting (at least once, and I would guess more than that but only one is confirmed). 

Hmmm, there has been no comment on the multiple times that Councillor Russell has no clue about what is happening in chambers. Lets consider this past council meeting when the councillors are giving notice of motion and information requests and he is complaining that Mayor Crouse isn't recognizing his speaker button. He has no clue about what is happening in the proceedings. This is the least of many more examples. 

There isn't a councillor that currently sits that I haven't criticized, they all have failings, some more than others. It is amazing that none of you recognize that there are other view points. Oh wait you accuse me of that. Do yourself a favour and search for the time I publicly called out Councillor Heron on her FaceBook timeline and see the defence she received from the citizens of this City.  

Now to the FaceBook topic...

Maybe compare the 16,000 people who like the Community FaceBook page, to the 15 people (maybe) who “regularly” participate here. I wonder who is actually doing things right. 

You might not like that the Community FaceBook page is trying to push a positive message about St Albert forward. That definitely isn't what happens here. 

Whether you like it or not the FaceBook Community page is just as privately owned as this forum is. John Carle and his associates have an agreement with FaceBook to use them and operate it under their standards. Don pays a company to host these forums and pays them to use their software. FaceBook just happens to be free. 

Interesting that the City likes the Community Page and City staff interact with the Community page. Two councillors regularly post the community page information and ask questions trying to get feedback. Why do you see this as a negative thing? 

It is also interesting that most of the City staff that I talk to personally have nothing good to say about Don's SAP or this forum. I would wager a guess that it is because I estimate 95% of the content of this forum is negative and does nothing to promote the City of St. Albert. I would extend the same comment that even though it is called "St Alberts Place", there is very little on the front page that promotes the City. 

It is funny that we the positive people, are accused of being Social Justice Warriors, because we fight for good things and fight against the bad. 

There was a comment a while back (not from Dennis, Dana or myself) that maybe you should start talking about issues and stop attacking people. (I will say that is exactly what Dana and I said at a SATA meeting we attended.) 

Almost done...

We just heard about a letter that the St. Albert Citizens Coalition sent to the Minister of Municipal affairs complaining about the problems in the City. We just heard how there were 50 people (yes 50 out of over 60,000) who signed the letter. Funny though, the response is conveniently not described. The response that basically said thank you for your concern, we are not interested. (Yes, I was at the SACC meeting when it was read out loud.)

You have a right to be negative, you have a right to be angry (the 15 or so of you "are" angry which is why I call you Team Angry), you have a right to your misogynistic comments, your xenophobic comments, and many other rights. However, until Don bans me from these forums I will continue to call you out on it. 

In conclusion...

The municipal inspection will take place, and I suggest you get prepared for things you weren’t expecting. Did you by any chance forget that a Council Member threatened to do things with his crutches to a member of administration ? Do you really think that will get passed over in a governance inspection? Do you really think the releasing of In Camera information to the public will go unnoticed in a governance inspection? Do you really...?

Be careful of what you ask for, because you might just get it.

 


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Murray Lambert

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Reply with quote  #82 
Kevin, I am not going to engage in a drawn out duel of words with you of the type that you seem to enjoy with considerable relish as evidenced by your broadsword approach to things. While I am not always in disagreement with you I do take grave exception to your comments regarding the initial response received by SACC from Municipal Affairs. Although the immediate reply may have been somewhat vague or obtuse as is so often the case with government authorities, to state that they "were not interested" is either an error of memory or a deliberate attempt to incite through an outright lie on your part. In addition, I assure you the original submission was much more than a simple 'letter of complaint' so please refrain from such inaccurate and unfounded characterizations.

As stated, you may very well have been present at that particular meeting but what you obviously have no knowledge of are the follow-up exchanges of information that followed through which a direct line of communication has been maintained to the present.
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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #83 
Kevin, the same old agenda every time you come on here. I just don't get it. If we are such a small group of hate filled individuals, why doesn't it bother you to the point you feel the need to write an essay?
You say you have criticized all members of council but we know who you prefer. It's laughable you try to tow the line and pretend you're impartial.

You have your wing night and the people on this site have each other. Can't you just leave and never come back if you're so offended.

I love the fact the people on here have a backbone when so many people nowadays do not!!!

As for Cathy Heron's close friend John Carle and his Facebook page. It is what it is. He'll be campaigning for her all throughout the campaign. With 13,000 followers, that's quite an audience.

Good thing is at least it'll ease up on your campaigning help.
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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #84 
To add,

Kevin, you're part of a different crowd. You hang with Heron, Carle, Dana, Natalie, and the rest of your friends. We on this site should not be a concern to you. Just let it go.

You'll never care about fiscal responsibility like we do..... and that's ok. Not everyone has to care about their hard earned money being pissed down the drain. If we are hypocrites in your eyes, that's fine by us. We'll all find a way to make it through the day.

Sure we have days where we wish we could be as jovial as you must be but alas, this is our life, filled with hate and anger. We may be a little group and we don't meet for beer and wings but that's just the way we like it.

On behalf of all the haters here on this site, I wish you all the best.
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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #85 

Reading our Kevin's latest Epistle, in which he proceeds  to lash out endlessly in a myriad of directions, go through his customary fit of anger, and roll out his litany of negative epitaphs with the usual sanctimonious hypocrisy , one detects an increased desperation as he attempts to distract from Cathy Heron's latest embarrassment.

As his tantrum subsides he should try to understand that:
(1) we didn't force Heron to bring a motion for a municipal inspection;
(2) we didn't suggest to her that such a motion would never be acted upon by Municipal Affairs and that this would silence the critics;
(3) we didn't tell her that such an investigation would exonerate her mentor/hero/buddy Patrick Draper;
(4) we didn't publicize the fact that she made the motion without ever considering the costs
(5) we didn't tell her to first justify the motion on the grounds that staff were afraid to come to work because of councillor bullying and when that fiction got torn to shreds decide that the reason she brought the motion was to shed light on the Prefontaine cronyism
(6) we didn't suggest that she tell the Gazette that if she had known the costs she wouldn't have brought the motion which,in turn, showed her insincerity in bringing the motion in the first place. After all she had no trouble with spending 1 million plus on trees and flower pots on the trail, no problem with with spending 5 million on the road to nowhere, but a mere 60 to 100 grand to detect and correct governance problems suddenly creates a faux fiscal concern on her part;
(7) we didn't ask her to demonstrate to all the world that she lacks the intellectual gravitas and business experience to handle the job of Mayor.

That being said, one thing Kevin does deserve credit for is his tagline "Prejudice can save lots of time, because you can form an opinion without any facts." It is certainly a very accurate case of self-branding. He deserves credit for being so candid.

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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #86 
Interesting to open the forum after an overnight hiatus and see the longest negative post about negativity ever posted here. The irony in the air is thick.
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Dennis Arneson

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Reply with quote  #87 
Like it or not Kevin does raise some issues that are real and perhaps actually limit the effectiveness Don intended for this site.
Fairless and objectivity by posters, at least in my view, lends credibility and a sense of overall respect and appreciation to comments/arguments. With a negative (and yes it is negative) focus on nearly everything four particular Councilors try to accomplish objectivity and with it credibility go out the window. The latest on the Municipal Inspection is a prime example. Five of seven voted in favor of the Inspection. It's what we on this site wanted. Get on with the Inspection and stop focusing on triva.
NO current Councillor is without issue or has been "error free". Posters shouldn't pick and choose....be fair and objective. Criticise one for error or omission or "misspeaking" criticise all.
And as much as this will upset some...getting rid of anonymity will actually improve this site.
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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #88 
At the end of the day, Kevin sees himself as the moral compass we all lack. To him we are hypocrites and he's going to continue to call us out on it until you ban him, which I believe is what he really wants just so he can prove a point.

Not all heroes wear capes.

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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #89 
Dennis, if Heron wasn't quoted in the Gazette, nobody would be talking about her in this situation!
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Dennis Arneson

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Reply with quote  #90 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnoughAllready
Dennis, if Heron wasn't quoted in the Gazette, nobody would be talking about her in this situation!


Fair enough then EnoughAllready. If that's the bigger issue to you than the Municipal Inspection go with it.
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EnoughAllready

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Reply with quote  #91 
Fantastic spin!
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Ted Durham

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Reply with quote  #92 
It is interesting to try and get caught up on all of this.  A good discussion is going on.  

1.  Yes, there does need to be a municipal investigation, there are too many improprieties

2.  Yes, people tend to go overboard because no one likes even a hint of corruption in government

3.  People should be passionate in their views

4.  There are always two sides to a story, right or wrong and we are going to hopefully find out through an investigation who is and who isn't.  

5.  If the city council gets a clean bill of health, well, we know that justice isn't being served as we all know that there have been misdeeds

Finally, when a person says 50 people signed a document and 60,000 didn't, that doesn't mean that the 60,000 are correct.  It was probably not a very public document and it didn't need to be signed by 60,000 people.  And just because a majority might believe something, doesn't mean it is right.  But society today seems to think that they are the ones who determine what is right and what is wrong.  Unfortunately, many of them don't know what is wrong because they grew up in the era where their parents let them do anything they wished, the Dr. Spock method.  We see where that got him.
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PrairieFire

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Reply with quote  #93 
The below is a quote from the Gazette on July 6th and are the reasons that cnclr Heron put forward the inspection motion.

"She pointed to motions coming from council governing the day-to-day operation of the city, the “tone in some of the departments in city hall,” and hearing some employees fear for their safety coming to work. She added she has heard first-hand some staff have asked for locks to be installed, and that RCMP have had to conduct interviews for the staff’s protection." 
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Rick F

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Reply with quote  #94 
Quote:
that RCMP have had to conduct interviews for the staff’s protection."


Did They?

I thought the RCMP stated they never got a complaint and/or request to do an investigation of ANY kind for security of staff other than day-to-day security of areas upgrades which had been requested a year or so earlier.

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OMG

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Reply with quote  #95 
Yes
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OMG

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Reply with quote  #96 
Rick F ....You are correct. Then she said that it was about her own personal complaint.

The $120 000 is being well spent on a Municipal Inspection when you consider the wasteful spending by the 4 on council. The road to Nowhere...millions. The refurbishing of the shell of a plane.....thousands. LRT study....thousands. Wish Heron and her group of 3 were more conscious of the frivolous spending they voted for.

Kevin are you still harping in the so called in- camera leak? I thought it was settled a long time ago? I have every right to be angry as you are.
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Head Honcho

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Reply with quote  #97 

A good letter in the Gazette this morning from Norm Harley. 

http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/Do-we-need-a-WiFi-city-20170114

Now before Kevin or another prog take Norm to task for his negative view, consider the truth in his letter. It speaks to the elitism that the fab four have foisted on the people of this community with their "because we fight for good things and fight against the bad" mantra to quote Kevin.

Norm notes and I quote:

"Unfortunately, the days of fiscal responsibility are long gone. For the past decade, administration, the mayor and his three council supporters have become spendthrifts.

Why? Because we are St. Albert, and must set the mark, the elitists that we are.

Examples? How about the $35 million for the Riel Park reclamation project that didn't? The tens of millions of dollars spent to run empty buses throughout the city? The millions spent on the grain elevator heritage park that no one visits? The $5-million road to nowhere? The millions spent on the traffic circle that isn't? The millions for the trees and shrubs on the trail? The $10-million facility, including artificial turf, for high school football? (Where else in Canada?) These are just some examples.

In 2017-2018 we will be spending up to $100 million for a library, rink, and swimming pool because less than 600 residents involved in a controlled and biased survey said these three capital projects were our top priorities.

And in 2019, the city will embark on new horizons. The granddaddy of them all: A $100 million city hall."

As you can see, the items Norm mentions can all be considered good things for the city, but all or most are mismanaged or overbuilt or unnecessary. That is the kind of thing that people who post here object to, and want changed. Add to that the very questionable behaviour of the mayor and some members of this council. Some refer to it as corruption or terrible mismanagement at the very least. They too see themselves as “fighting for the good and fighting against the bad”

As for those thousands over on Facebook who are subjected to a positive image of the city by the owners of that thread, it is likely most of them have little interest in city council and not many have any idea what is really going on. (How can they with council meetings held while they are at work instead of in evenings so they can participate?) They can be excused for living in ignorant bliss about St. Albert and the cost to live here.

That is as positive as I can be about Norm’s letter.

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allabout

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Reply with quote  #98 

Kevin lets be clear about The Commuity Face Book page.  If you care to read my comments #38 I made a comment that it was a misleading name.  I have used this page to ask questions or responded to a post.  I really don't care who John Carle is or what he posts only that it is clearly stated what the page is about.   After the post regarding Mayor Crouse I saw some comments that were negative but not rude.  They were quickly removed and since then Mayor Crouse has been repsonding to many thanking them, I would have been happier if the not so positive comments were answered in a more direct way as " thank you for your comment, or I'm sorry you feel that way " rather then deleting the comment.

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theskeptic

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Reply with quote  #99 
Kevin:  Since you  have alleged that Councillor Russell has released "In Camera" information, it would seem incumbent upon you to provide some particulars to support that allegation.  You wouldn't want to be a party to a negative unsubstantiated smear campaign after all your bloviating about being positive would you?
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Since2000

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Reply with quote  #100 
In Camera is Bunk.  Unless someones life is in danger, there is no justification for it. 
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