Motion leaves council scrambling

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A motion put forward at High Prairie town council’s June 11 meeting which was clearly against policy left council searching for a quick compromise.

Councillor Debbie Rose nominated Marilyn Emter and Ken Melynk for 2019’s Outstanding Citizen. She said the nomination would be “acceptable” because both were deserving.

“Our policy is one,” replied Councillor Donna Deynaka, referring to the maximum number of people chosen each year.

Mayor Brian Panasisuk rushed to defend Rose’s case.

“It’s not the first time we’ve deviated from policy,” he said.

Still, it left council in the strange position of choosing to ignore or follow policy.

“I echo the point that Councilllor Deynaka made,” said Councillor Michael Long.

“This year the two candidates are phenomenal candidates.”

However, Councillor Brian Gilroy wanted to follow policy to the letter of the law.

“I [agree] with Councillor Deynaka,” he said. “We need to follow policies. That’s why they’re in place.

“I think we need to be more responsible of policies in place,” he concluded.

With council clearly not wanting to make a decision, CAO Brian Martinson offered a solution.

“We didn’t have anyone in 2018,” he said. “Maybe one in 2018 and one in 2019.”

“We should follow our policy,” said Deynaka.

However, council passed a motion approving the two. Officially, Emter is the recipient in 2018 and Melnyk in 2019.

Emter was nominated by Linda Rich, Melnyk by Brian Panasiuk.

Councillor Judy Stenhouse expressed disappointment only two nominations were received despite the use of several advertising mediums.

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