By Kenyon Stronski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

 It’s been a rocky start for the newly elected Taber town council, with them already coming under scrutiny at their Oct. 25 regular meeting of council — which was also the date the councillors are sworn in.

 As of the Monday, Nov. 15 special meeting of council — Coun. Jack Brewin was sanctioned for a breach in Code of Conduct that has led to the requirement of a written apology to the mayor, council, and residents of the town of Taber by the Nov. 22 regular meeting of council. The motion was passed with Brewin granted the ability to abstain from the vote.

 According to the Alberta Municipal Affairs, “Under the MGA (Municipal Government Act), a councillor is required to vote on all resolutions and bylaws unless required or permitted to abstain from voting under other legislated provisions or the Code of Conduct Bylaw. Council must ensure that each abstention and the reason for it are recorded in the minutes of the meeting.”

 The discussion took place for around an hour in closed session. A choice that Mayor Andrew Prokop noted was standard practice.

 “The reason it was done in closed session was because it dealt with personnel and potential legal involvement. This is the standard practice during any similar circumstance.”

 The written apology that is required by Brewin may also not be enough for some, who believe that it is akin to a slap on the wrist.

 “Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” states Prokop. “But that was what the council decided on during the lengthy deliberation that carried on over the closed session. There is also not much that can be said due to the confidential nature of this matter. But I am trying to be as transparent as I can.”

 There is also the question as to whether or not Brewin swearing in was legally binding, as he was under the influence of some substance.

 “In it’s entirety, the bottom line would be that the Lawyer Mr. Mark Baldry is the one taking care of the swearing in portion and as long as that gentlemen is satisfied and signs off on it, it is binding accordingly.”

This item is reprinted with permission from The Taber Times, Taber, Alberta. See article HERE.

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