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Letter: Sundre council seats can't be acclaimed

This is our opportunity to find positive change for our community

Back on October 20, 2020 a letter of non-confidence was sent to Town of Sundre Mayor Terry Leslie and Sundre town council in good faith regarding their ability to effectively handle the affairs of the Town of Sundre in the best interest of its residents.  

Curious as to what those questions were and what the mayor and council had to say?  Check your November utility bill and background notes from the Mayor's Desk. 

Here is what our letter addressed. Please note that due to privacy, names have been removed.

Since taking office in April, 2017, the primary agenda of the town's chief administrative officer (CAO) has been on tourism. Tourism has always been, and always will be a large part of Sundre. 

Although promoting Sundre via tourism is beneficial to our economy, it will not sustain us year-round. Our local and surrounding residents are what will ultimately keep Sundre afloat.  

You as our elected officials are accountable to the residents of Sundre and business owners.  At this point, there appears to be minimal accountability or transparency.

Areas of concern that we requested to be addressed are as follows:

• Infrastructure – What is in the plan to repair roads, sidewalks and town-owned facilities? We received no response.

• Young families – What is in the strategic plan that will draw and support young families? No response.

• Support for local small business – While new development is financially beneficial for all municipalities, what is the strategic plan to support existing small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat? No response.

• Traffic circles – We appreciate and understand that Alberta Transportation is the major player in this game, but the Town of Sundre is also a player. We also inquired to a potential ring road. We learned in a meeting with MLA Jason Nixon that there is definitely no ring road going in. However, we also learned that the traffic circles are compliments of Town of Sundre and there is still time to come up with an alternate plan to replace them. 

• Development contracts - Are we being diligent in utilizing local contractors first? Are contacts being awarded to the lowest bidder? In the interest of Sundre’s sustainability, are local contractors given first right of refusal? No response.

• Economic development. No response.

• Planning and development. No response

• CAO salary questioned. No response.

As this is an election year, this is our opportunity to find positive change for our community and would encourage any resident who was willing and able to run for council and/or mayor. We can no longer afford to stand by and allow seats be filled by acclamation.  

Shellan Chaney, on behalf of Change for Sundre