Use of title inappropriate, says council

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A High Prairie town councillor has been told to never use his political title when writing letters that include council business not endorsed by council.

Brian Gilroy used his title as councillor in a June 7 letter of support asking for Lesser Slave Lake Pat Rehn’s reinstatement in the United Conservative Party.

The letter, written on High Prairie Church of the Nazarene letterhead, included, “I am also a councillor for the Town of High Prairie. . .” in addition to being a UCP director and Christian pastor.

Gilroy brought forward the matter during his report.

“. . .to clarify this. I want to be open. This was asked for me by Pat [Rehn] to write this.”

He added the letter only referred to his job as a councillor and added Rehn’s job performance had improved.

“He’s back to his old ways. I was duped a bit,” said Gilroy.

Earlier, Gilroy said Rehn attended church functions until he received Gilroy’s letter, then not seen again.

Mayor Brian Panasiuk reminded Gilroy he had every right to do as he pleased as a private citizen, but the refence to him being a councillor in the letter was inappropriate.

“It should never have been in the letter,” he said.

“I don’t care if you think he’s doing a good job [or] a bad job.”

Councillor Michael Long agreed.

“There are some things you cannot do,” he said, adding the use of his title as councillor “somehow added credibility to an endorsement.”

And, it was an endorsement not made by council.

“Now we’ve learned,” concluded Long.

“I wrote the letter, I admit to it,” said Gilroy.

“Maybe I was such an innocent. . .I was taken for a ride.”

“Do not use your title or the influence of your title,” advised Panasiuk.

“Please do not do that in the future.”

Gilroy promised he would not.

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