October 12, 2017

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One Last Kick At The Cat


Over the past four years I have submitted numerous letters to the editor, posted comments on local websites and blogs and made oral presentations at city council all the while centering on perceived deficiencies within our local government.

In the process, I have been very critical of Mayor Nolan Crouse, sitting councillors; Wes Brodhead, Cathy Heron, and Tim Osborne, former councillor Gilles Prefontaine and our since removed city manager, Patrick Draper. Their collaboration and frequently questionable practices have allowed these individuals to hold sway over city business through predetermined group thinking and carefully orchestrated block voting.

If you don’t believe me take some time to peruse the video archives on the city website and see for yourselves. While you are at it you will also witness the due diligence and relentless efforts of councillors; Sheena Hughes, Cam MacKay and since the by-election, Bob Russell. The differences in the degree of preparation and quality of debate brought to the table by the latter group clearly stand out. After all, why would the members of what I call the power group need to invest any more time or energy than absolutely necessary knowing that the outcome will be in their favour via a customary 5 to 2 or somewhat later
4 to 3 vote.

Time and again these minority individuals who have been vehemently demeaned by their self righteously indignant detractors, have figuratively ‘flailed themselves against the ramparts of the castle’ despite its futility in the simple attempt to better represent and defend the best interests of the average citizens of St. Albert. Meanwhile, in defiance of their sworn duty to exercise due diligence in providing for the welfare of the general populace, the power group concentrated on advancing their own self-interests, satisfying the wants of special interest groups, and acceding to the demands of developers. This situation might best be described as idealism versus pragmatism.

Simply put, should Cathy Heron succeed in becoming our next mayor, little or no change from the status quo can be expected for more than any of the others she has danced to the tune of her master and mentor the mayor, whose actions have more often than they should been, subject to question although seemingly impervious to proper scrutiny and subsequent consequences.

In the election advertisements extolling her accomplishments Cathy Heron emphasizes serving on more committees, commissions and other organizations than any other member of council. I suppose in itself this is noteworthy, but simply sitting on such bodies does not necessarily equate to having made meaningful contributions. I must add that as a perk or bonus she has managed to accrue sizeable sums from the per diems that come with attending these meetings something which she unsuccessfully argued to retain when council approved a revised council compensation package.

On the matter of her involvement, along with Wes Brodhead, within the regional authority she makes grandiose claims to have made great strides in securing future benefits for St. Albert, to wit I suggest you talk to the good folks of the town of Beaumont who were recently bludgeoned into submission through the veto power of the City of Edmonton over their annexation plans.

Contrary to the above, Cam Mackay has true to form avoided glitzy showmanship and ‘smoke and mirrors’ in offering a sensible and realistic fact based platform designed to benefit all of the citizens of St. Albert. I firmly trust that a majority of discerning voters will agree with that observation come election day.

In closing, it is undeniable that there has been undesired partisanship and significant discord within our city council resulting in dysfunction. In examining cause and effect and knowing the facts it is evident that much, if not most of the problem can justifiably be attributed to Mayor Nolan Crouse himself.

Murray Lambert
St. Albert

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Saturday Sessions October 14th Presents

This weeks Mark Ammar's Saturday Sessions show 693 presents guest - Rotten Dan Shinnan - As one of our areas most well known faces on festival and music room stages in Alberta,across Canada, and as far as Memphis,Dan is best known as the front man and harmonicists in funky blues groove band Boogie Patrol.

Dan has a natural knack as a high energy, electrifying entertainer with a stylistically recognizable voice and is considered amongst the best for his incredible harmonica and fronting skills. He has also received many invites from numerous other acts as a sideman and or frontman as well as much studio work.

Dan has worked diligently since the day I met him at the Blues on Whyte in the mid 2000's and his hard work has definitely payed off for himself and his band mates as they've gained high recognition from fans across Canada, numerous Blues societies, The Memphis Blues Challenge and The Maple Blues Awards just to name a few.

He also co-hosts a well established weekly open stage in Edmonton. I have featured Dan numerous times and we're always happy to have him back. -
Mark Ammar 780-217-9787.

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