New Reeve for County of Stettler

by Linda Stillinger

Two newcomers, Larry Clarke (Ward 3) and Cheri Neitz (Ward 6) joined the five returning incumbents, Les Stulberg (Ward 1), Dave Grover (Ward 2), Ernie Gendre (Ward 4), James Nibourg (Ward 5) and Wayne Nixon (Ward 7) at the county office for the County of Stettler organizational meeting on Mon., Oct. 30, 2017 chaired by Chief Administrative Officer, Tim Fox.

After taking the oath of office and signing the councillor Code of Conduct, the first order of business was electing the reeve.

The two nominees, Wayne Nixon and newcomer Larry Clarke spoke to council before the vote.

Clarke stated that even though this would be his first term, he was not new to meetings or administration and hoped to represent the county with a “new set of eyes” going forward.

Incumbent Nixon declared, “It is an honour to represent the people of the County of Stettler,” and went on to list the accomplishments of past terms.

Voting by ballot, council chose Larry Clarke as reeve for the County of Stettler.  This is a one year term.

The deputy reeve position is an alternating responsibility, with each councillor taking an eight month turn.

Councillor Nibourg will take the first term.

After some discussion, council then voted to keep all per diems at the same rate.

Councillor code of conduct

Before moving on to committee appointments, Coun. Nixon brought forward a motion that any councillor who does not sign the Code of Conduct should not be eligible to sit on committees.

Councillor Ernie Gendre had declined to sign the document, expressing concerns with some parts of the code.

Reeve Clarke also expressed concerns and suggested that council needed to revisit the code.

Spirited discussion followed, with Coun. Neitz stating that since the code of conduct is a county bylaw, all councillors are bound by it as soon as they take the oath of office.

During further debate, CAO Fox turned the chair over to Reeve Clarke.

Councillor Nixon remarked that the code of conduct was simply, “…what our parents taught us: honesty, integrity and respect.”

Council moved in camera.

Following the in camera session, Coun. Nixon made a motion to rescind his original motion and council passed the new motion.

Councillor Gendre signed the code of conduct.

Council discussed having members at large sit on the Agricultural Services Board and the Municipal Planning Commission. This issue will be brought back to council in the future for further discussion.

In addition to committee delegations it was decided that the first regular meeting of this new council will be held on Wed., Nov. 8, 2017.

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