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Municipal Inspection still needed for Coaldale

Posted on October 20, 2020 by Sunny South News

While the Town of Coaldale always claims to “support the birds of prey centre” I would like Coaldale residents to know what actually takes place behind the scenes. For major decisions that matter to our future success, current Coaldale Town Council has unfortunately often decided the opposite of what we wanted to see happen. This unfortunately puts doubt in our future in Coaldale.

I am sorry to report I and the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation have felt misled and manipulated by the Town of Coaldale on multiple occasions. This involves serious matters ranging from the West Nile Virus outbreak, feeling pressured to make presentations to the Municipal Government Board of Alberta that were the opposite of our beliefs, to being excluded from input for the adjacent Malloy Basin storm pond expansion after we helped the town/county acquire $4.3 million in funding.

Developing northwest Coaldale for a new high school and housing, will be detrimental to the Birds of Prey Centre in many ways including losing millions in future funding. The Town is pushing a new high school location choice, known for poor drainage/flooding, recurring outbreaks of West Nile Virus, and will costs many extra tens of millions dollars to move children and vehicles, safely and efficiently across a major dangerous transportation corridor. It’s inexplicable how the Town believes it can start a $50 to $80 million high school/rec centre project without objections, when taxpayers had no say in the location choice, in addition to going against storm water and transportation engineering recommendations not to build there.

Over the past few years, I have informed three Coaldale Town Councilors of concerns related to cases of possible municipal wrongdoing, and never received any meaningful follow-up. Despite attracting millions of dollars of investment to Coaldale over the past forty years I feel our input and potential to contribute more to Coaldale is of no consequence to most Town Councilors.

The Town of Coaldale recently approved a Human Resources review in response to many allegations of mistreatment from former municipal employees. While a positive move, this review does not address many other concerns from taxpayers including myself and the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre. This is why a Municipal Inspection is still needed.

Are some Town methods dealing with us illegal? Are they unethical? Do they amount to wrong doing or constitute unacceptable practices for municipal governance? I don’t know, as this is outside my area of expertise, but it is still disappointing, disturbing, and raises valid questions deserving of a Municipal Inspection. I wish Town Council would also stop criticizing and belittling people who bring forward concerns.

While I have no doubt the Town is meeting the minimum requirements of the Municipal Government Act, it is apparent this “minimum” is not meeting the expectations of the good governance, management, and community interaction expected by many Coaldale taxpayers.

I would urge all residents to sign a petition for a Municipal Inspection.

This would be a transparent way to independently evaluate concerns expressed by residents, provide clarity, and help the Town move forward in a positive direction.

Colin Weir
Alberta Birds of Prey Centre

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