By Megan Roth
Howard Eiserman, Maple Creek RM 111 Reeve, believes the RM council is not acting and functioning at their optimal level due to a split within council.
Maple Creek Rural Municipality 111 changed the date of their last council meeting from Feb. 12 to Feb. 17 as decided by a majority decision of the council.
Neither the Reeve or the public were notified about the change of meeting date.
The meeting started off with the minutes from the previous meeting, Jan. 13, having already been signed by the acting administrator and a councillor, Darlene McDougald and Bill McKenzie respectively, prior to the regular meeting when the minutes were presented to the council for errors, omissions and adoptions. This is not a legal procedure, according to Reeve Eiserman.
Legislation states the Administrator is to ensure all councillors are given the previous meeting’s minutes for their approval at the next regular council meeting.
The monthly financial statement for November and December 2015 were approved by the acting administrator, McDougald. The monthly financial statements for September and October 2015 as well as January 2016 have not yet been completed.
It the responsibility of the administrator to provide a monthly financial statement to Council. The statement should show all receipts and payments submitted to Council for approval, as well as any other statement Council has requested. This statement has not been provided to Council.
At the end September 2015, a cash interim was performed by the accounting firm Stark and Marsh. A letter was sent to council explaining all accounts reconciled. This was further confirmed by senior management at Stark and Marsh in person.
The Council called for a forensic audit to date. The forensic audit cost the rate-payers $22,817.69.
In September of last year the RM hired an apprentice who had yet to be enrolled in the Rural Municipal Apprentice Internship Program. To assist the RM with the first two periods of 52 weeks of training, SARM pays the RM a $20,000 grant. There is no guarantee at the end of the internship of a job offer.
The assistant administrator resigned her position at the end of September last year. This left the position open for new, experienced applicant.
However, Hoffman was hired as the administrative assistant on Nov. 18, 2015. As an assistant she no longer qualifies for the $20,000 from SARM. As a result the RM now has to pay her full salary as well as her training in the accounting program the RM uses, Munisoft. The RM also has to pay for any calls to Munisoft for assistance.
Prior to being hired as the assistant Hoffman had no prior training or experience with the accounting program. It was a requirement of the job that those hired have experience working with Munisoft.
Hoffman was not an applicant for the assistant administrator position but was officially hired on Nov. 18, 2015.
When required, the RM will once again be putting their own road bans into affect.
The RM council is looking into the cost of going paperless.
The RM is having their filling system cleaned up and organized. To do this task, Councillor Bill McKenzie is receiving $1,000 a month from council. Lee Baynton, Robert Udal and Foreman Justin Perrin are assisting with cleaning up the filling system as well as cleaning out the vault.
These files may contain confidential rate-payer information. As such this can be seen as a violation to the rate-payers of the municipality.
The RM’s pumper truck was out of service, a new motor and new front tires were required to get it running again. It is now back in service.
Four council members of the RM council are under investigation from O&H for harassment. There have been no charges made against the four councillors only a harassment complaint. Charges will be laid depending on what the investigation finds.
The RM Council will have another meeting on March 16.
Reeve Howard Eiserman welcomes comments and can be reached at email@example.com.