Honest open dialogue will produce the best governance

Dear Editor,

When I ran and was elected by the taxpayers of the County of Stettler in the Oct. 2013 municipal election, I publicly accepted the oath I swore to uphold the office of Councillor.
Since then I have held the position with honour and have been privileged to maintain the trust you have requested of me – to serve you the best way I can .
Thankfully we live in a democracy, where everyone can obtain information and provide their thoughts in such a way that governance of our locality is done for the people by the people.
I do not presume to know what everyone wants or desires – that can only be obtained through conversations that provide understanding and knowledge of events that will or have transpired .
Fundamentally, only honest open dialogue will produce the best governance.
As many of you know, I firmly believe the best way to prevent and eliminate gossip is through the transference of information. Therefore, I would like to thank everyone that has had the opportunity in the past to engage me in dialogue and request the same of those that haven’t yet had this opportunity.
Therefore, I would like to thank the six related taxpayers that wrote the letter whereby they expressed concern that I may have been involved in an issue regarding the new Public Works shop, but I haven’t had the opportunity to respond to until now.
To their concern I gladly provide the following:
• In 2016, the contract for building the Public works shop was awarded to Scott Builders by Council as recommended by Administration.
• In the fall of 2016, the Administration of the County of Stettler tendered three water lines, two of which were awarded to Wally’s Backhoe. The third contract was recommended by Administration to be awarded to Action Plumbing. There were three options available for the main line to the County Public Works Shop: a single 3” line, an option for a double 3”, and a 6” for which contractors were requested to provide a sealed bid price for each.
Council accepted Administration’s recommendation and unanimously voted to go with two contracts consisting of two single 3” water service lines (because of price/value), and Wally’s Backhoe was awarded both.
• No list of sub-contractors was requested by Administration. None was presented to Council for approval or disqualification. Totally independent of myself and Gendre Construction Inc., Wally’s Backhoe contracted Diablo Directional Boring Ltd. for installation of a water line.
• Gendre Construction Inc. has installed waterlines for the past 10 years throughout central and eastern Alberta. The last installation taken on by the Company was Nov. 2014 for a price of $50.00/M – pipe included at a cost of $5/M. Through my insistence with regards to protecting the taxpaying public, I pursued tendering as a way of holding Administration and Council to being fiscally responsible. Since the fall of 2015, the County has saved approx. $200,000 via a price reduction on water lines from $65/M to $35/M on approx. 6,000M of pipe installation since the tendering process has started.
• True to my word, I’ve always engaged the taxpayers of the County with information that can be verified. I believe that our County should be run as a business, not in the political environment that politicians seem to desire.
It’s time that politicians realize that neither a business nor a service such as the County of Stettler can afford to present anything but the truth and the whole truth.
Not that I have to, but for the sake of openness and to prevent gossip, Ryan and I provide the following personal information regarding our two companies:
• Nancy and I have always and still own 100 per cent of Gendre Construction Inc. Ryan has never nor does he have any ownership whatsoever in Gendre Construction Inc.
• Ryan Gendre has always and still owns 100 per cent of Diablo Directional Boring Ltd. Neither Nancy nor I have ever owned nor do we have any ownership whatsoever in Diablo Directional Boring Ltd.
• Neither Nancy nor I had any involvement whatsoever in Diablo bidding or winning the contract with the Wally’s Backhoe.
• Ryan, Nancy, and I gladly provide this information to the County’s residents and businesses and to the Stettler Independent and Red Deer Advocate, both news media that kindly asked for information.
Ernie Gendre
Stettler, Ab.

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