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Afraid to make a decision

I have been wanting to write about this ever since I left the June 27 meeting of the Municipality of Swan Valley West council.

For those that follow my council reports, you will know a little bit about what went down during that meeting. Councillor Minish made a valiant attempt at recruiting Councillors Foster, Burick, and Blosha to form an investigative committee to look into some concerns brought to the council by the Durban Landfill attendant. Seems simple enough, but it gets complicated when Councillor Steen is the potential subject of those concerns.

As much as Minish tried to urge the council to at least bring his resolution to the table, an alternative resolution was drafted to postpone the discussion until the July 11 meeting.

Part of my job is to not pass judgement when I attend these types of meetings, as well as in my official report of the meetings. I simply present a fair summary of the more noteworthy things that occur.

However, during the many months that I have covered this municipal council, I’m pretty sure that this was the meeting where I had to bite my tongue the hardest. And since I couldn’t speak my mind in any other public venue, I will use this platform.

In my last editorial, I challenged this council to be responsible with the power that they have. In the case of this meeting, by tabling the discussion, they chose to ride the fence so that they didn’t have to be accountable for a decision that might come back to bite them. They are hoping that if they ignore the problem, the problem will go away.

Certain opposing councillors wished to postpone the discussion because Steen was not present to “defend himself”. Let’s take a minute to think about that. Councillor Steen is the primary subject of these allegations. It would be a huge conflict of interest of he could decide whether or not an investigative committee could be formed. If he didn’t do it, then I’m sure he would have no problem with an investigation clearing his name and finding the right culprit. If he did do it, then why on earth would he vote yes to something that would reveal his misdeeds?

Moreso, I got the sense at that meeting that somebody on the landfill committee was privy to more information than they could reveal, which I think makes it even more curious that they were reluctant to investigate further.

But don’t take my word for it. Hear it for yourself. The attached soundclip is the portion of the June 27 meeting where this whole discussion takes place. I encourage you to hear it first hand so that you may draw your own conclusions.

In any case, I look forward to hearing what council decides or doesn’t decide regarding this issue at Tuesday’s council meeting.

(For another perspective on this topic, from someone who actually sits at the table, see www.seatwithaview.ca/when-simple-things-get-complicated-and-then-just-get-silly)

Jeremy Bergen