Wheatland County council deferred its attendance at further Wheatland Regional Partnership (WRP) meetings pending the resolution of legal matters with two of the partners during the regular Tuesday, July 5 council meeting.
The county was previously set to host a WRP meeting, which was cancelled, and council members were invited to a rescheduled meeting hosted by fellow partner, Town of Strathmore
However, due to a letter sent to Wheatland County council and Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver by the mayors of the villages of Rockyford and Standard, council was unsure whether they should participate in the rescheduled meeting.
“I believe we had council consensus that we had requested to postpone the next (WRP meeting) until such time as we had response from the mayors of Rockyford and Standard,” Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link shared. “To my knowledge, we have not received a response at this point.”
She added, as there is some legal consideration, that she had “some level of discomfort” about attending the meeting.
Division 6 Councillor Glenn Koester told council he felt it was “not appropriate” for Wheatland County council not to participate in the regional partnership meeting on this basis.
“We got invited, so they’re expecting us to be there. We’re part of the partnership,” Councillor Koester said.
He moved for Wheatland County council to attend the meeting as usual to show that the county is still part of the partnership; however, after lengthy discussions, the motion was opposed.
Division 1 Councillor Shannon Laprise then moved to instead send a clarifying letter to WRP confirming the county’s continued commitment to the partnership and council’s intention to defer attendance until the ongoing legal matters between the county and the villages of Rockyford and Standard are resolved.
The motion carried with two votes opposed and four in favour.
Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail