Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes
By Helge Nome
Today, October 25, Council held its annual organizational meeting where Reeve and Deputy Reeve for the upcoming year are elected from within the group of seven councillors by the councillors. Some fifty community boards are also populated by a mixture of community members and councillors.
Following the organizational meeting, a regular meeting was conducted where crime statistics were presented by members of the Rocky RCMP Detachment.
With all seven councillors present, CAO Ron Leaf opened the organizational meeting, asking for nominations for the position of Reeve.
Councillor John Vandermeer took the floor and expressed a lack of confidence in how Reeve Alexander had conducted himself over the past year. He nominated Councillor Graham who declined the nomination. He then nominated Councillor Maki for the position of Reeve. Maki declined the nomination. He went on to nominate Councillors Duncan and Laing in that order. Both declined the nomination.
The process ended up with Councillor Duncan nominating Councillor Vandermeer and Councillor Greenwood nominating Councillor Alexander for the position of Reeve. Both accepted the nomination and CAO Leaf collected the votes which were counted with the assistance of Staff person Christine Heggart. Alexander was elected for the upcoming year. The number of votes for each person was not disclosed.
There was a change in the Deputy Reeve chair: Councillor Maki replaces Councillor Graham.
For the upcoming year, the Municipal Planning Commission will have councillors Graham, Duncan and Maki serving, along with community members Cheryl Dezall and Kelly Spongberg.
Councillor Laing was not successful in getting on the Rocky Mountain Regional Waste Authority Board, where Councillors Alexander, Graham and Maki will continue to represent the County.
The newly formed Clearwater Broadband Foundation had requested a councillor appointment by letter. Councillor Vandermeer agreed to represent the county council on this board, with Councillor Duncan as the alternate.
Following the organizational meeting, Staff Sgt. Mark Groves and Sgt. Jason Penner from the Rocky RCMP Detachment made a presentation. Auto thefts were down in number compared to last time a presentation to council was made.
Property crimes in the area have increased in line with a province wide trend. Sgt. Groves noted that the detachment is now at full strength, and even a bit over, as he has been accepting junior RCMP members into his detachment with the idea of training them to perform at a high level in their work. He also noted that the newly appointed constable to Caroline School, Brian Bouchard, used to be a teacher and school principal before joining the RCMP.
A permanent Rocky RCMP satellite station at the Sunchild and O’Chiese reserves has considerably improved policing in that area. When asked by Reeve Alexander about an RCMP presence at Nordegg, Groves said that he could not justify keeping a member out there, based on population numbers. Sgt. Penner added: “It is a summertime deal” .