The municipal inspection is out. Most of it shouldn’t be a surprise. In fact, most of what’s contained inside should look familiar to readers.
The Westlock News has been covering the majority of misdeeds found in the report for the last several years. Now it seems we have some more answers, or at least a few more details.
Picking up the 116-page report, there are almost too many things to write about. We will be rolling out our coverage over the next few weeks. This week we delved into Peter Kelly’s involvement. You might be seeing his name as other news sources pick up the story.
Kelly has come forward to offer his side and he is free to deny the findings as the report casts a shadow on his tenure.
There is certainly more to his story though, so don’t worry. We haven’t forgotten about the Horizon North deal, the Tawatinaw ski hill and the Fawcett Fire Hall, not to mention council misbehaviour.
And roads … everyone’s favourite subject.
On the bright side, and somewhat amazingly, the report has some positives.
It’s reassuring that we’re in good financial shape, but without industry to pad county coffers, it’s no surprise that a heavy tax burden weighs on ratepayers. It’s another reminder that every municipality in the area has to do more to encourage economic development.
Now loaded with a few more answers, we’re looking forward to the implementation stage.
It will be quite the task achieving all 27 recommendations in the report and the burden — or certainly part of it — will fall on the shoulders of a new council
The report comes out at a good time. We’re just over a month away from the election and two weeks away from Nomination Day. We strongly suggest that everyone living or working in the county to read the document. If you plan on running, it might be a good idea to get out your highlighter and base your platform around what you find.
Some of the recommendations, like publicizing financial reporting and meeting minutes, will be easier to do than developing long-term strategic and capital plans for the road network or reviewing policies, but it can be done.
It took a while but it’s hoped this report will push that forward and make it a reality sooner.