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  • Caylie Gnyra

June 4 Town Council


Deputy Mayor Kevin Martin called Council’s June 4 meeting to order at 6 p.m.

Numerous additions to the agenda were made, first by Mayor Greg Throndson, who requested to add discussions on a Town-sponsored Oilers watch party, his Code of Conduct, and his resignation as mayor under New Business. Council debated the addition of the Code of Conduct, with Mayor Throndson seeking to provide transparency to the public and Councillor Robert Pulyk strongly insisting that the meeting go in camera for that discussion. The agenda was adopted as amended.

There was no public commentary arising at the meeting.

The discussion over Director of Finance and Administration Brian Leibel’s staff recommendation on reserve transfers for the 2024 Sewer Trunk Main Capital project was tabled to Council’s next meeting to accommodate Leibel’s absence due to illness. Interim Chief Administrative Officer Mike van der Torre assured Council that the postponement will not cause any delays to the project or increases in fees.

Under New Business, Mayor Throndson described how several members of the public had approached him to inquire whether an Oilers watch party might be planned for the playoffs, given that Vermilion was featured as the Celebrating Oil Country community of the year earlier this year. Suggestions included getting different agencies together to set up a big screen and offering a meal for a small fee that could be donated to a community organization. Manager Economic Development Mary Lee Prior explained that there was no money in her budget for such an event, and Interim CAO van der Torre said, “To put something together on short notice with no budget would be pretty hard to do.” Council suggested that an organization such as the Ag Society or the Vermilion Minor Hockey Association might have more volunteer and financial resources to be able to pull something together, and that the Town might be able to support by providing one of the Town-owned facilities for use at a $0 rate. Councillor Pulyk suggested putting up the Celebrating Oil Country banner that had been displayed during the Oilers’ delegation’s visit, but Prior reported that, unfortunately, the banner had been stolen a few months ago.

Council opted to go in camera to discuss Mayor Throndson’s Code of Conduct.

When the meeting re-opened to the public, Mayor Throndson stated that his only options regarding his non-payment for over 90 days of his bill totalling $7,129 for a door he broke at Town Hall in March 2023 were to be disqualified from his position as mayor through a ruling by the Court of King’s Bench or to resign. He said, “I will never quit,” and requested that Council rescind the motion to seek to disqualify him through the Court of King’s Bench. Council expressed bewilderment that he had initially titled the agenda item “my resignation as mayor” and suggested that the addition to the agenda might have been more appropriately made further in advance to give councillors time to consider the situation. Councillor Pulyk made it clear that the Local Elections Act governs the proceedings, and that any elected officials owing more than $5,000 to their municipality for longer than 90 days are to be disqualified through the Court of King’s Bench. No further actions or discussion ensued.

Council voted to designate Interim CAO Mike van der Torre a signing officer for the Town of Vermilion effective immediately.

During the committee report for Parks, Recreation, Culture, and Environment, Council learned that the town’s splash parks were scheduled to be open June 1, and that the pool is expected to re-open in early September.

Accounts payable for May 22–June 4 totalled $343,185.63.

Council then discussed a letter of support Deputy Mayor Kevin Martin had written on behalf of the Town to Alberta Parks, the region’s Member of Legislative Assembly Garth Rowswell, and the Minister of Forestry and Parks about the state of Vermilion’s Provincial Park, highlighting the willingness of volunteer individuals and organizations to support maintenance and other areas of concern. Links to the letters can be found in the June 4 agenda at https://vermilion.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/139116/

The public portion of the meeting closed at 7 p.m.

To take in Town Council meetings from the comfort of your home, register for the online Zoom livestream at https://www.vermilion.ca/en/your-government/council-livestream.aspx Council meetings take place the first and third Tuesday of every month beginning at 6 p.m.

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