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Fort Macleod residents want province to investigate conduct of Mayor Rene Gendre

A group of Fort Macleod residents want the provincial government to weigh in on controversy surrounding Mayor Rene Gendre.
The group has launched a petition asking Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Dianne McQueen to investigate the mayor’s conduct and its effect on Fort Macleod.
“We all want to know the truth,” Kristi Edwards said. “An inquiry from the minister of municipal affairs will expose that truth.”
Gendre is concerned the petition will have a negative impact on the town.
Gendre said he took six months to consider whether he would file his law suit.
“The courts are an objective third party that will review all of the necessary details that precipitated the action,” Gendre said. “To discuss the details of the lawsuit or any other potential actions in public in any additional manner will only help to denigrate our public image, and harm our community.”
Town council sanctioned Gendre last June, stripping him of all responsibilities except attending meetings and voting on motions.
Provincially-appointed mediators began working with council, the mayor and administration last fall.
In December, Gendre filed an affidavit in Court of Queen’s Bench for a judicial ruling on the sanctions.
A petition was also started last fall calling for the firing of chief administrative officer David Connauton.
No action was taken on the petition when council agreed to hold a public meeting to provide information and allow residents to voice concerns.
Edwards, who is spokesperson for the group backing the petition, said it is time for the province to act.
“An investigation will uncover any actions that the mayor or town have taken that are in direct conflict with the town’s code of conduct and the municipal act,” Edwards said. “All information would become public knowledge, and the truth would be available for all, including the mayor. This investigation would be at no cost to the Town of Fort Macleod.”
The group has 60 days in which to acquire signatures from at least 20 per cent of Fort Macleod residents aged 18 years and over.
People who do not reside in Fort Macleod or who are under the age of 18 can sign a letter of support for the petition.
Edwards said while there is no guaranteed outcome, the petition will provide information for the mayor, council and residents, at no cost to the Town of Fort Macleod.
The group plans to circulate the petition around town, and a copy is available on-line at https://www.change.org/p/town-of-fort-macleod-inquiry.
“I started this petition because we need to take action and stand up for our community,” Edwards said. “Our image and economic future is at stake because of the cost of the law suit that the mayor has issued to the town.”
“We deserve better and we are better. This community is full of hard-working, dedicated and selfless individuals willing to give their time and talent to make our little town great.”

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