Councillors Sanctioned - Dissenting Voices on Council Punished

Councillors Kevin Hanson (Div. 3), Samanntha Wright (Div. 8), and Crystal Kissel (Div. 9) were sanctioned on June 11th by the rest of Rocky View’s council.  All residents of Rocky View – not just the 40% of the County’s total population who live in these three divisions – are hurt by these sanctions.

 

Hanson, Wright & Kissel are being sanctioned for trying to do their jobs and for exercising their right to free speech by expressing their opinions.  The sanctions are based on two events:

 

(1)  The Councillors hired a lawyer (on advice from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs) because they were concerned about the flawed process used to hire the County’s Chief Administrative Officer, Al Hoggan.

  • The sanction for this action is that their pay has been cut by 30%.

  • They also have been removed from all committees – committees where they represent residents’ interests.

  • Note: Councillor Jerry Gautreau also consulted the lawyer with Hanson, Wright & Kissel. However, he was not sanctioned.  In fact, he voted in favour of sanctioning his colleagues.

 (2)  The Councillors wrote a letter to the editor of Rocky View Weekly after the council majority arbitrarily removed their notice of motion to prepare a CAO hiring policy from the agenda.   The notice of motion was recommended by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Ombudsman, and the County’s lawyers.

  • The sanction for writing the letter is that they may no longer speak to any Rocky View staff, including the CAO, except during council meetings, which are held twice a month.

 

Residents should care about these sanctions:

  • The majority is abusing its power to silence the minority. 

    • Hanson, Wright & Kissel are the councillors who most frequently question decisions being made by the majority - awkward questions that the others don’t want to hear.

  • Taxpayer dollars are being used by the majority to pursue personal vendettas against their critics – a blatant misuse of public funds.

  • Assuming there was any justification for imposing sanctions, the punishment does not fit the "crime" – the severity of the sanctions is beyond reasonable

  • Residents in Div. 3, 8, & 9 no longer have a councillor to help them with issues if they run into difficulties with the County.  This clearly hampers the Councillors' ability to do their jobs - something that is against the law.

  • All County residents are short three of nine voices that represent their interests.

 

Take Action!

 

Councillors Hanson, Kissel, and Wright are challenging the sanctions in court.  Help them with their legal costs by donating to the Fundrazr page residents have set up to support them. 

Sign the petition asking the Minister of Municipal Affairs to intervene - more information here.

 

Tell Rocky View Council you do not support the punitive actions they have taken against their colleagues – call or send an email.  Email addresses & phone numbers are here.

 

Encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same.  The tyranny of the Council majority relies on residents not knowing what is happening.

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