Sylvan Lake’s chief administrative officer is to be fired because a “change of management style” is needed, says the minutes of a special council meeting.
The minutes offer the first insight as to why council voted to serve a notice of intention to fire Helen Dietz immediately after a meeting in council chambers last Friday afternoon.
The minutes posted on the town’s website late Tuesday afternoon also show Dietz was to be placed on a leave of absence with pay.
Councillors present also voted to allow the mayor or her delegate to hire lawyers to assist in all matters related to the notice of intention.
The vote was carried five to one, with only Councillor Lynda Sills Fiedler voting against. Councillor Frank Peck was ill and unable to attend.
Sills Fiedler said she stands on Dietz’s record.
“She has done exactly what council has directed her to do,” she said.
Dietz helped bring under control unlicensed behaviour along the lakeshore and was involved in revitalizing the downtown core.
Sills Fiedler also credited Dietz with “helping us achieve a vision for Sylvan Lake that would take us comfortably into the 21st century, which was the 50th Street ARP (area redevelopment plan) where we don’t have to depend on urban sprawl.” That plan set the conditions for people living and working in the downtown without infringing on neighbours, she added.
“I think she was able to help us achieve all of that vision that we had three years ago with that council.”
Councillor Joan Barnes would say little about the resolutions.
“It’s in the hands of our lawyers right now, so it’s done for us right at this point,” she said. She directed comments to Mayor Susan Samson and Councillor Richard Backs.
Neither could be reached for comment.
A message left for Dietz was not returned.