February 23rd, 2018

City’s process guards against conflict of interest


By Letter to the Editor on January 23, 2018.

The writer that submitted the roast in the Monday, Jan. 15 Lethbridge Herald is misinformed regarding the conflict of interest of a city councillor. All city representatives (mayor and councillors) are held to standards of accountability not only to the voting citizens but to each other.

The mayor, councillors and all elected city officials will abstain from discussion and voting if a conflict of interest arises. Accountability and transparency are expected from the voting public. The process was explicated in a previous Lethbridge Herald article.

City officials were voted in by the public with assurances that we are properly represented in an auspicious manner. Ramblings and musings serve no purpose. To write in a desultory wandering fashion explicitly contradicts the process of how our elected officials function. Our city officials are sworn to a code of conduct and ethics and one would have difficulty finding a breach in the process that’s currently in place. Perhaps the roaster should contact a councillor or city representative to facilitate his concerns.

Stan Adamus

Lethbridge

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12 Responses to “City’s process guards against conflict of interest”

  1. already extinct says:

    The roast and toast writer may or may not been misinformed , but I can inform Mr. Adamus, he is misinformed by miles if he believes what he’s written. I’ve found dozens of breaches “in the process” (without looking some actually outright obfuscations ) directly attributable to my elected officicals.

    You made me laugh when you suggest contacting a city representative or councillor to facilitate concerns. I’ll concede I’ve had extremely good luck mixed with a goodly blend politeness when receiving info from almost all city officials. Not so councillors half of them will not respond to my emails (I can provide a ton of proof of this)

    One the electorate dumped last round told me she didn’t have an obligation to respond to my questioning (I have the email)

    Another who didn’t run, stopped corresponding when the questions got to hot to handle -she couldn’t take the heat and chose to abandon the kitchen, waiting for a slot to open on higher ground.

    I’m as offended and hurt ( I think an apology might be in order to set things right) by your letter Mr Adamus as you were of the Roast and Toaster

  2. Resolute says:

    Councillor in question is CEO of LSCO and has been appointed by the City Council to be Director of the Green Acres Foundation who is by far the largest senior citizen lodging provider in the City. That is purposed Conflict of Interest and I have no idea why. Perhaps Nordbridge can comment as they seem the target of this act.

  3. biff says:

    thanks al ex and res,; still request an AUDIT. i emailed our dear ndp minister about the need for an AUDIT in lethbridge, but never heard back, other than usual automatic reply of receipt.

  4. already extinct says:

    biff, an audit (YES!) would reveal some extremely bad stuff (certainly contrary to what Mr. Adamus would have you believe) that which if you or I were on the receiving end wouldn’t go well for us.
    Politicians get the immunity clause, and can pretty well, do anything, say anything or act in anyway they wish and there’s not one hell of a lot the rest of us can do about it, at least not cheaply. It costs lots and takes a ton of time to wade through all the crap protecting some of the crooks in play.

    Prime reason politicians and car dealerships are near the bottom of consumer confidence ratings

  5. Montreal13 says:

    Yes the roast and toast writer may or may not have been misinformed. I can’t speak to any specifics, that Mr. Adamus may be referring to. I don’t know.
    But for general discussion only: check the MGA rules about conflict of interest CLAIMS on the part of a councilor..They are alittle loosey goosey, in my opinion… There is no policing of how they are applied ,it seems, unless someone complains ,perhaps?. And then there does not seem to be a penalty for a false or mistaken claim of a conflict of interest.. A councilor claims a conflict of interest in council chambers. A number of or one councilor may know that there is in fact no conflict- legally. They cannot or will not point that out to the councilor in chambers? Why, because conflict of interest rules do not make clear that they can? They don’t want to publicly embarrass their mate? So do some councilors use the conflict of interest claim to get out of publicly taking a stand on a hot button subject? Or are they not receiving or understanding the instructions on conflict claims? Does it appear as though personal interpretation is the norm? Scary! I am talking conflict of interest claims. Write the minister for clarification. on the declaring rules, perhaps? If no reply,try the Alberta ombudsman.?
    Here’s a story: After a resolution on an issue keeps reappearing and is being worded in stranger and stranger ways, a person may decide to take a closer look. It is hard to follow a council meeting and catch why a conflict has been declared. In fact, perhaps a reason may not be given.,only that a councilor is leaving because of a conflict.They may in fact not be required to explain?
    Anyways, let’s say, it appears an item keeps coming up, in council chambers because some department was not getting the answer they wanted or required., from council. Maybe? Had this group proceeded without council approval on a pretty expensive and sticky endeavor and they had to have a certain vote or they would be in quite a pickle? Let’s say after about the third time it was brought before council they did get the vote they required. Disaster dodged. Millions of dollars in loans required at tax payer expense , maybe, but the books are in order., story? At the beginning of this process one councilor says he or she has a conflict of interest. Because an outside consulting group(that the city hired) has working for them ,this councilor’s spouse. This spouse was working for this consulting group before they were hired by the city. The councilor’s vote one way or the other will not affect the employment of this spouse. So how or why can the councilor declare a conflict of interest? Is there a simple misunderstanding of the rules ? Or is it fear of the perception of a conflict and how that may affect a political career? Or is it just an easy out ,anyway, so why not?
    Further ,let’s say that another councilor does not declare a conflict of interest on this same story . This councilor is personally directly affected by this resolution before council in a monetary way. And this councilor’s spouse has engaged in a public announcement voicing a stand on this subject. Do you think the legal department even knows that this councilor may in fact be in conflict? If they did who should say ,excuse me but..? Should it be city admin who points this out,if they know and or a fellow councilor ,if they know? What should happen if they know and don’t say anything? Are they allowed to point that out in council chambers? You would hope someone would? Do you think they do? Who is to call them on it ,if they don’t?

    • phlushie says:

      That is sure a lot of “loaded” questions m13. Most are open ended and will not be addressed. But there is a better understanding of the uselessness of council. Everything seems to be left in the hands of administration, even if it takes 4 levels of redefining and rewording.

    • already extinct says:

      Montreal 13, I know the situation of which you subtly refer – plus you are spot on, adding further to the debunking of Mr. Adamus claim that one would have trouble finding a breach in the code of conduct & ethics the mayor and councillors are sworn to.

      Having now had a day or two to digest that one I don’t know if I should continue laughing or cry!

      • Montreal13 says:

        Just to keep you laughing thru the weekend. Let’s say we add one more chapter to the story. Although, there is more that could easily be added. What if a lead hand within the consulting company was directly and monetarily affected by council’s vote or decision? And especially if this had been pointed out to council, what do you think they should do then? Do you think the consulting co. member should be recommending to council a particular position on an issue? What do you think this council did?
        The title of Mr. Adamus’s letter may be heartwarming, at least in part. But what has been pointed out to me a few times and what I have seen countless times is: the process or policy is not the problem or concern. It is the actual practice, of these so called processes and policies that bits you. Just what M15 found out during the height of the cold war. When practices become too far removed from the policies they are suppose to exercise- the house of cards can fall down.

        • snowman says:

          The definition of conflict of interest is clear under
          the MGA act. I have challenged aldermen at council
          meetings on conflict of interest and they left the room.
          No problem. Councillor Parker recused himself
          after he was challenged,claiming his wife was employed
          in recycling project. Councillor Myrashiro when challenged
          by Councillor Coffman previously was forced to leave the chamber,
          on two senior centre’s application for grant dollars on conflict
          of interest. The recent application by norbridge Councillor Myrashiro
          was forced to declare recuse and left chamber.

  6. biff says:

    wow – a lot to take in. i wish i knew more of what mtl13 alludes to.
    i received a letter back from the min of municipal affairs, responding to my request for an audit. i based my concerns on each of the asset backed commercial paper debacle, and the downtown iga debacle. i was assure the gov’t was aware of the former and sees no issue with the deal; there was no mention at all of the latter concern. in a nutshell, an audit originating on the request of a citizen requires a petition signed by 20% of the municipality’s population. what is that, roughly 1 in 2 of the adult population?


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