Town of Strathmore council has voted to request a letter of apology from Wheatland County regarding a statement made during the March 12 Special Council meeting.

The statement was made by County Coun. Tom Ikert, and was in regards to the town of Strathmore’s financial position, and ability to support the Wheatland Housing Management Body’s (WHMB) proposed development of a 120-unit lodge. 

“The board believes that they can requisition us $1.6 million? Does the board understand that that number will cripple the Town of Strathmore? I mean it does not do us any good, but it will cripple the Town of Strathmore,” said Tom Ikert during the Wheatland County council meeting. 

The town, in their public meeting agenda for their own special council meeting during which the letter of apology was discussed and voted on, also referenced the time stamp on the county’s YouTube recording, at which the comment was made at 25:40-26:00 mark.

In their letter requesting an apology, the town described Ikert’s statement as “fallacious and damaging to both the Town of Strathmore’s reputation and the potential development of the 120-unit Wheatland Lodge.”

“I feel that the statement made was blatantly false and … Coun. Ikert has made a comment on the town, and this type of comment could do some damage to the actual lodge project,” said Town of Strathmore mayor Pat Fule. “If someone in the province saw this, it could cast a negative light on the project.”

Fule added Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link has said Ikert may be making a statement of retraction on Tuesday, March 19, though he feels it would be best for the town if Ikert both retracted his statement and made a public apology.

Both Wheatland County and the Town of Strathmore have passed resolutions in support of the WHMB’s proposed development of the 120-unit lodge, provided certain parameters are met. 

Town of Strathmore Coun. Richard Wegener motioned for council to approve the letter requesting an apology from Ikert.

Town of Strathmore Coun. Jason Montgomery inquired during council’s discussion about their letter to the county, what would be done should Ikert decline to make a public apology and/or retract his statement. 

Fule clarified if that were to be the case, the Town of Strathmore council would have to discuss how to proceed in another meeting of council. 

The town ultimately voted unanimously to approve sending the letter requesting an apology from Ikert to the county.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 20, 2024 at 19:49

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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