Former mayor calls for MACA involvement

 

A letter was sent to Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Robert McLeod on Feb. 28 addressing Schofield’s concerns.

“He did send us a letter outlining some concerns,” said McLeod. “Any concerns we get, we take very seriously and we can’t just dismiss them.”

The concerns that Schofield addressed pertain to an alleged breach of confidentiality within council, along with the misspending of municipal expenditures.

“Nobody is stealing but money is being spent without the knowledge or approval of council,” said Schofield. “It is something that has been going on for a while.”

 

Visit from the government

He noted that he is pleased that MACA will be coming into town to look into the situation.

Representatives from MACA arrived in Hay River on March 2.

“We need to make sure everything is operating properly,” said McLeod. “We need to make sure that the decisions council made are legal and to date.”

Schofield said the decision to resign from his position was a tough one, and one that he had been considering since prior to Christmas. However, it was some information regarding an alleged breach of confidentiality released to Schofield on the morning of Feb. 27 that caused him to finalize his decision.

“I found out some in-camera sessions (regarding personnel issues) had been leaked to the SAO by one of my councillors,” he said. “That was the final straw.”

Schofield noted that there is a power struggle between mayor, council and the town’s senior administrative officer (SAO) and many contracts had been awarded and approved by administration without council’s input. He said those contracts include the water and sewer agreement being appealed by Maskwa Engineering and the flower pot contract being appealed by Patterson’s Green Valley Gardens.

“That was supposed to go to council,” said Schofield. “These contracts need to be approved by council.”

He called the current system at town hall “flawed” but noted it is the best and only solution they have.

SAO Michael Richardson spoke to the allegations, and said that he believes Schofield’s actions were incorrect and backhanded.

“As far as the allegations against me or administration go, they are false and the truth will come out,” said Richardson. “I will continue to work with my co-workers to do the work that we are expected to do for the community and to co-operate with
MACA.”