Two Village of Big Valley councillors resigned late in November leaving only one councillor and no quorum noted the municipality’s chief administrative officer (CAO) in a phone call with the ECA Review newspaper Dec. 15.
CAO Colleen Mayne stated that the Nov. 20 Village of Big Valley council meeting proceeded as normally but that the next morning, Nov. 21, Mayor Clark German appeared at the village office and resigned from council.
Mayne related that German didn’t say much about reasons for his resignation but stated that he wasn’t willing to proceed on council.
The CAO confirmed such a resignation takes effect immediately.
The day after that, Nov. 22 the CAO stated she received an email from Coun. Amber Hoogenberg that she also was essentially resigning from council, effective immediately.
As the Village of Big Valley has three council seats, two councillors would be needed to constitute a quorum.
Mayne stated the village council was in limbo as it had no quorum.
She did note, however, the remaining councillor, Dan Houle, will remain on council.
However, his status now has changed considerably.
After the resignations the CAO contacted the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MA) in Edmonton, which stated that an official administrator (OA) would have to be assigned to Big Valley to act as its elected council until a by-election could be called to fill the vacant council seats.
MA also notified Mayne that it would send out written notification to all Village of Big Valley residents to explain the current situation.
The CAO stated it appears the OA will be in place for roughly the next three and a half months and was scheduled to appear at the regularly scheduled council meeting Dec. 18.
Mayne pointed out some important details need to be ironed out immediately, as currently she is the only signing authority for the Village of Big Valley with two signatures needed for spending.
Mayne noted this is also a very busy time of year in the village office as an interim 2024 budget is expected to be sent to Edmonton by Dec. 31 and the CAO is also very busy with audit preparations and reconciling utility accounts.
Mayne wanted to point out that council meetings, under the OA, will continue to be held normally.
However, she noted the remaining councillor, Houle, doesn’t have any voting powers.
She added that it’s anticipated the by-election will be held by the end of March.
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Dec 19, 2023 at 14:41