Citizen demands mayor to resign

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

One High Prairie citizen is so upset over the hiring and firing of potential CAO Sherry Poole he has asked Mayor Brian Panasiuk to resign.
Barry Sharkawi appeared in the public delegation portion of council’s meeting July 12.
“Mr. Mayor, I am asking you to resign,” said Sharkawi.
“If you love this town that’s what you have to do.”
Earlier, Sharkawi charged recent events over the Poole incident have divided not only council but the citizens of the town.
Council agreed by a 4-3 vote on June 14 to hire Poole with councillors John Dunn, Therese Yacyshyn and James Waikle also voting in favour with Panasiuk while councillors Donna Deynaka, Sacha Martens and Judy Stenhouse opposed.
However, 16 days later at a meeting June 30 council voted unanimously to fire Poole after it came to light there were errors on Poole’s resume, something Martens warned council about before the vote but the four council members chose to dismiss. South Peace News later verified two errors to support Martens’ claims, which was another matter Sharkawi alluded to when he accused council of “not checking” Poole’s resume.
Sharkawi believes a public outcry was in part the reason for council’s turnabout.
“You made it bad for her [Poole] and bad for the citizens,” said Sharkawi.
“I’m begging you guys to do the right [thing].”
Sharkawi clarified what he meant by “you guys” after the meeting, seeing he first only asked the mayor to resign. He syas he wants only Panasiuk, Dunn, Waikle and Yacyshyn to resign because they originally aproved the hiring of Poole.
He also supports Deynaka, Martens and Stenhouse and encourages them to continue pushing what is best for taxpayers.
Instead of resigning, Panasiuk offered an olive branch to Sharkawi.
“Maybe I’ll come and talk to you about some of your concerns,” said Panasiuk.
Sharkawi also asked how interim CAO Herman Minderlein was hired, noting the vote to hire him was 5-2 with Martens and Stenhouse opposed.
Minderlein responded saying he was approached by former interim CAO Brian Martinson, asking him if he was interested. After negotiations and salary were discussed, Minderlein agreed, and council ratified the deal.
Sharkawi would have preferred mayor and council be involved in the entire hiring and interviewing process. No interviews were held for the interim CAO position with council.
Minderlein’s pay is within the Town of High Prairie’s top salary grid, which is between $121,674 and $145,538 annually.

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