Clive council decided the community must follow rules for municipal committees that offer prizes after an issue with the Communities in Bloom (CiB) committee.
The decision was made at the Dec. 14 regular meeting of council.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney presented councillors with two reports related to the Clive Communities in Bloom (CiB) committee, including an expense submission for an October CiB event and the resignation of all CiB board members.
Kenney stated the expense reimbursement was for $94.03 to a committee member or members who bought prizes or materials for a Halloween contest.
It was also stated at the meeting that a committee member also won a prize in the competition, something which is frowned upon by the village.
Kenney stated that she didn’t feel that the reimbursement request met the public scrutiny test.
Kenney’s report included the resignation letter from all CiB members, which stated their resignations were related to village staff requesting more information about the Halloween contest and how the prizes were awarded.
The resignation letter was bluntly worded and let village council know the CiB members had been offended by the entire situation.
Coun. Susan Russell stated she didn’t know why people feel so slighted when they were asked many times to form an official committee and didn’t abide by guidance from the village.
Russell noted her own family has won CiB prizes in the past and other CiB members have also won prizes in the past and she felt that the expenses should be reimbursed as it also seems there is no longer a Clive CiB committee.
Coun. Tracey Hallman agreed, stating the expenses should be reimbursed but she wasn’t sure why all the hard feelings existed as she thought the CiB committee was very well treated by the village.
Coun. Jeremy Whelan pointed out the contest rules didn’t specifically prohibit committee members from winning prizes.
Coun. Norma Penney stated she was opposed to reimbursing the money as the village shouldn’t let people buy their own prizes.
Whelan stated he understood Penney’s point and suggested perhaps the village needs to be more involved when committees are holding contests that offer prizes paid for with taxpayer money.
Mayor Luci Henry also stated that the prize money should be reimbursed.
Coun. Russell stated she wasn’t happy with this situation, and pointed out the Village of Clive treats volunteers very well and appreciates them, and added that she has volunteered for the CiB committee too.
Kenney stated when the village was investigating the expense claim, she didn’t expect to get a nasty letter in return.
The CAO stated she feels it’s a given that organizers of events don’t win prizes in that event.
Councillors first passed a motion to reimburse the $94.03 to former CiB members for the expense claim in question.
They also passed a motion that present and future village committees must follow the village’s governance rules when it comes to event organizers winning prizes at events they’re involved with.
Lastly, they passed a resolution accepting the resignations of the Clive CiB committee.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter