Blackfalds will hold a byelection on Jan. 10 to fill the vacancy left by Amanda Valin, who decided to not take her seat on council after she was elected in October. (Advocate file photo)

Blackfalds will hold a byelection on Jan. 10 to fill the vacancy left by Amanda Valin, who decided to not take her seat on council after she was elected in October. (Advocate file photo)

Blackfalds looks into code of conduct complaint against councillor

Nominations being accepted for by-election

Blackfalds’ newly elected town council has a full plate preparing to vote on next year’s budget, in addition to looking into a complaint regarding a council member’s conduct.

The town received two formal code of conduct complaints on Oct. 26 and Nov. 1 by members of the public. Both were against the same town councillor.

Council concluded that one complaint did not contain grounds warranting further investigation, but the other complaint justified gathering additional information, as part of an investigation process.

“Council this week is meeting with both parties separately as part of the information gathering to determine whether an investigation will go forward,” said Blackfalds CAO Myron Thompson.

“I expect it will be further discussed in-camera at the Dec. 14 meeting.”

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He said the complaint process is confidential at this point.

All municipalities in Alberta are required by the Municipal Government Act to have a Code of Conduct Bylaw that sets shared expectations for conduct or behaviour. The bylaw outlines how members should conduct themselves while carrying out their responsibilities and establishes a review and investigation process when a complaint is received.

In 2021, two complaints of conduct breaches were filed against Red Deer city councillors. One complaint was closed and details could not be revealed under confidentiality sections of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The other conduct code review resulted in former councillor Buck Buchanan being censured by council over a social media post deemed inappropriate.

“The Council Code of Conduct came into effect as a regulation in 2018. From what I’ve been hearing, we’re seeing more of this and it’s really too bad,” Thompson said.

“It’s unfortunate that these kinds of things take place. We just deal with them accordingly. More information will be provided in the future.”

Meanwhile, Blackfalds town council must deal with next year’s budget.

“Our plan is to pass the capital budget here in December, but hold onto the operating budget and bring it forward in the new year and give them some time to get up to speed on that process.”

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Blackfalds town council is also short one councillor after rookie councillor Amanda Valin decided not to take her seat on council.

A byelection will be held to fill the vacancy on Jan. 10.

The nomination period began on Nov. 10. Nomination forms must be submitted in person to the returning officer by noon on Dec. 13.

Blackfalds town council is currently made up of incumbent Laura Svab, incumbent Rebecca Stendie, Brenda Dennis, Jim Sands, and incumbent Marina Appel.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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