Town councillors wondering why county did not consult them before decision made

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A lack of respect is being cited as the reason one Town of High Prairie councillor voted against supporting the Big Lakes Invitational Charity Golf Tournament.

Michael Long says town council should have been consulted as to who was going to receive profits.

“We have a helipad that needs to be built,” said Long at council’s May 24 meeting, after questioning why no local organizations were going to receive profits from the tournament.

Voting against donating $2,000 for the event were Long, and councillors Donna Deynaka and Brian Gilroy.

Voting in favour and passing the motion were Mayor Linda Cox, and councillors Brian Panasiuk, Debbie Rose and Arlen Quartly, who said after the vote he was opposed “morally” but would still vote in favour.

Long said he agreed with the decision last year to donate profits to the helipad and STARS, but not this year’s recipients, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Heart and Stoke Foundation.

Meanwhile, Gilroy was concerned different golf tournaments were being treated differently, citing a recent council decision to not donate to the Tees for Tots Tournament.

“Are we treating both of them fairly?” he asked.

Deynaka was against, saying council and the town residents were receiving nothing “concrete” in return, although some citizens will utilize services provided by both organizations.

Panasiuk said not supporting the tournament would send a bad message to Big Lakes County. He added the town will benefit as some golfers will be staying in town.

Rose added the county asked them earlier this year to take the lead in hosting the tournament, but declined saying they did not have the same resources as the county to host the tournament.

Later, Rose added that the town promised at an inter-municipal meeting they would offer some support.

Councillors supporting the tournament added it was also a good opportunity to network with other politicians, as well as lawyers and engineers they do business with.

Still, repeated concerns arose over just how much town council was valued as a partner in the tournament, because they were not consulted before decisions were made.

The golf tournament will be held Aug. 11 at the High Prairie Golf Course.

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