The letter in question was closed with an invitation for readers to contact Williston through email; however, as of Friday all attempts by The Stettler Independent acting editor to contact Williston through email failed. The website is down too as seen in this screenshot.

Stettler County council concerned about published letter problems

Letter to editor published in Nov. 2 Independent debated at county meeting

By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent

A letter to the editor recently published in the Stettler Independent caused an intense debate at County of Stettler council’s regular meeting Nov. 8. All councilors were present for the meeting.

Councilor Les Stulberg asked that the meeting agenda be expanded to include a discussion on the letter on page 10 of the Nov. 2 paper. Stulberg noted the letter was signed by a “Drew Williston,” but no community of residence was listed. Stulberg said he was concerned that the letter was misleading.

For example, the letter gave the impression the County of Stettler has no money in certain bank accounts and the writer gave the impression this means the county is in some way irresponsible or incompetent.

Stulberg noted that County of Stettler taxes are not collected until Oct. 31 so it would not be unusual for certain accounts to appear low. Stulberg pointed out the letter writer predicted $8 million in shortfalls, regardless of the fact the County of Stettler has adequate funds in the bank and he said he was concerned about the accuracy of the letter.

Stulberg also stated the county follows direction from ratepayers; for example, a survey of ratepayers told councilors not to go into debt for the new public works building, and council followed those directions. The councilor suggested the County of Stettler respond to the letter and comment on each claim or statement.

Councilor James Nibourg agreed, and noted that Williston should be invited to come to a council meeting and present his concerns to councilors. Nibourg said he sees the county as being open and approachable.

Reeve Larry Clarke said county staff, after the letter was published, seemed disappointed by the letter’s contents.

Nibourg noted the county spends a lot of money on annual audits to ensure their finances are being handled properly, and a third party accounting firm performs the audits. “We are a well-run ship,” stated Nibourg. “I think they are calling into question the credibility of our accounting firm.”

Councilor Wayne Nixon stated a war of words in the newspaper doesn’t really solve anything.

Stulberg said he feels mistakes or incorrect information should be addressed. “I think the public is entitled to the facts,” said Stulberg.

Nixon noted that annual County of Stettler budget meetings are publically advertised and are open to anyone who wished to attend, but traditionally no one from the public ever does.

Councilors also briefly discussed how meeting highlights are posted on the municipal website.

Councilors passed a motion for the municipality to address the letter in question with a press release to be issued to local media.

The letter in question was closed with an invitation for readers to contact Williston through email; however, as of Friday all attempts by The Stettler Independent acting editor to contact Williston through email failed.

As well, the website www.stettlercountyratepayers.com, was not available. A Google search resulted in a “HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden” message.

editor@stettlerindependent.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Synchronized Skating National Qualifying Event hosted in Red Deer Alberta Jan. 25th-26th

The 2020 Mountain Regional Synchronized Skating Championships are part of the National qualifying system

The Stettler ATOM female team will be having a Hockey Fights Hunger Food Drive Feb. 8th

Drop off locations will include Canadian Tire, No Frills and Sobeys from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

County council approves “challenging budget”

Provincial government cuts affect County’s revenue sources

Stettler’s Big Brothers Big Sisters has plenty of events lined up for the first part of 2020

January is Mentoring Month across Canada and throughout North America

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

RCMP receive tip on Amber Tuccaro’s homicide file

Banff RCMP contacted by a male who alleged that his father may be responsible for a missing person

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal motor vehicle collision

Collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 11 and Burnt Lake Trail

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

Alberta privacy watchdog investigates ID scans at liquor stores

Alcanna Ltd., based in Edmonton, runs Liquor Depot, Wine and Beyond and Nova Cannabis stores

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

The survey was conducted Jan. 17 to 21 among 1,552 Canadians eligible to vote

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

Most Read