April 17, 2014

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St. Albert Mayor Wrote To Employer
Did Mayor Crouse’s Letter
Seek Man’s Termination?


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Editor,

I am a resident of St. Albert and have been for many years. We have raised our children here. My wife, children and I have participated in events and volunteered in this community for years. We pay taxes like everyone else here and consider ourselves good residents in our community.

I ran for public office last fall and the good people of St. Albert elected a council. I was not elected but was very glad to get the support I did having just shy of 5000 votes. I met a lot of great people in this community while campaigning and found out that while we have nice facilities and a lot of space, we are being taxed at higher rates and many are getting uneasy about the sustainability of our present governance model. To be frank, many people are worried about how we spend our city funds.

I understand that elections are competitive and that everyone running wants to get into office. This last election was particularly rife with commentary about candidates. I was on the receiving end of many comments that were both true and untrue. During that election, a former council member took to Twitter to try to tarnish my character. One of his acts that I thought was very unbecoming of anyone, was to send a letter to my employer stating that I threatened him which was totally false. I called him to question why he has been spreading untruths about me on Twitter. He in fact called me when he was available and used the picture of my office phone on his call display on Twitter. I was dismayed that he contacted my employer to try and jeopardize my employment. It is through that job I am able to support my family in this community. I wonder why anyone would do that? I have had three people from this community use this tactic over the years on me. One was a former president of SAMHA, the next was former council member Neil Korotash during the last election, and Mayor Nolan Crouse after the election on February 14 of this year.

Mr. Crouse sent a letter to my employer because I criticized him for comments he made at the last Chamber of Commerce gala. I didn’t feel it was proper for the mayor to single out some council members as those he could not work with. He was someone who was talking about creating harmony on council during the election. I was exercising my freedom of speech and sent an email to the mayor. Unfortunately he decided to use the same tactic and write a letter to the president of my company. I can only assume that each of these individuals took these actions trying to get my company to terminate my employment.

I am enclosing the copies of the letters sent to my employer. I can understand comments in an election in public, but to try and hurt someone by harming their employment and ability to support their family is about as low as it goes. If I had broken the law or been dishonest in my employment, I could see someone making these comments. Fortunately, I have always been honest with my dealings and my employer, so I am still employed.

What if the mayor had complained about someone who had only been on their job for a short time, or maybe one of our children who worked at a local establishment serving him a coffee or food? Would that company want these kinds of letters coming to them? If I was a new employee at my company, I might have been released as they did not want the mayor and former council member of a community sending such letters as it could create a negative impact upon their business.

In the case of the former council member, it was very public as he took to Twitter with his actions. He didn’t let people know that he sent an email to my employer though. In the case of the mayor, he sent a letter in his own personal handwriting. I wonder if people in his office or on council knew that the mayor, a representative of the people of St. Albert, sent a letter to a local resident’s employer trying to damage his reputation with his employer? Does he treat people in the employ of St. Albert the same way? Does he treat members of council the same way?

I understand that some people in the political realm might not like to be criticized for their actions. We as residents of St. Albert, have the right to comment on issues in our community. As a politician, you are not exempt from criticism: in fact you receive a lot of it. Because of these actions that have been taken by the mayor, am I to be of the understanding that if I make fair comment again about our city, my employer will receive another letter?

Do residents of this community need to be concerned that if they write to the mayor’s office there will be similar retribution? I clearly wrote a personal opinion to the mayor. I feel as if my personal freedom to make fair and open comment in this city is now being threatened by his office and that I am being told to be silent or there will be retribution. This kind of action is below the office of mayor. It reminds me of Chicago style politics.

Ted Durham
St. Albert

SINC SAYS:

Below is the handwritten letter from Mayor Nolan Crouse to Mr. Durham’s employer mentioned in the letter above. The letter raises many questions for Durham, but doesn’t it also for the citizens of this city? Can citizens no longer make fair comment to the office of the mayor without fear of reprisal? Should every councillor be alarmed at such a tactic? Why did the mayor write the letter? What was his motive? Does the balance of council condone such tactics? Do St. Albert councillors need to act on behalf of residents to protect them? Should the mayor resign for his role in this entire Chamber Gala controversy? You can voice your opinion in our discussion forum
here.

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A Little Catholic Humour

A Little Catholic Humour
'Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl.'

The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano?'

'Yes, Father, it is.'

'And who was the girl you were with?'

'I can't tell you, Father, I don't want to ruin her reputation.'

'Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?'

'I cannot say.'

'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?'

'I'll never tell.'

'Was it Nina Capelli?'

'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'

'Was it Cathy Piriano?'

'My lips are sealed.'

'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'

'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'

The priest sighs in frustration. 'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.'

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, 'What'd you get?'

'Four months holiday and five good leads.'

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WEBBITS

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A roundup of bits from the web.

* Target shoppers step over man as he collapses, dies.

* Sweden proposes ban on sex with animals.

* Race car at centre of 1955 LeMans disaster set to sell.

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Filling Stations Of The Past

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Did You Know That?

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Britons Need To Eat Fewer Baked Beans

Britons Need
Families in the UK eat more beans than any other country in the world, the House of Lords heard

BRITS were yesterday given a bizarre warning to cut down on baked beans because of the impact of “smelly emissions” on global warming.

Concerns have previously been voiced about the effect of methane coming from cow flatulence.

Read more in the Daily Mirror.

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Links To Today's Outstanding Photographs

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Denali National Park, Alaska

The Dallas Divide, Colorado

Trinity Alps, California

Lofoten, Norway

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AGS GENFAIR POSTER MARCH 2014

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