South Peace News
A petition is circulating in High Prairie calling on council to repeal its motion to hire Sherry Poole as CAO.
Town council voted to hire Poole by a 4-3 vote at its June 14 meeting despite hearing about allegations of inaccurate information in Poole’s resume by Councillor Sacha Martens.
Voting in favor to hire Poole were Mayor Brian Panasiuk, and councillors John Dunn, James Waikle, and Therese Yachshyn.
Voting against were councillors Donna Deynaka, Martens, and Judy Stenhouse.
The petition reads: “The undersigned persons, being electors of the Town of High Prairie, in the Province of Alberta, hereby petition the council of the Town of High Prairie to: repeal the appointment of Sherry Poole as CAO – motion 8.1 at regular meeting of council on June 14, 2022 – on the grounds of misrepresentation by candidate, and selection bias and dismissal of pertinent information by council.”
At least two allegations by Martens have since been proven. The first was Poole stated she worked at the M.D. of Big Lakes for two years. South Peace News’ issue of May 25, 2011 reported Poole was the “new” economic development officer. In the July 27, 2011 issue, South Peace News reported Poole resigned.
The second is a statement on Poole’s resume she began work at Vulcan County in southern Alberta as economic development director in 2017. Stephen Tipper, editor of the Vulcan Advocate, reported in the June 22, 2018 edition that Poole started work at Vulcan County May 22, 2018.
When given the opportunity, Poole did not respond to information she made the errors.
On its website, the Government of Alberta says that under Section 232 of the Municipal Government Act, electors may petition the locally elected council for a new bylaw or to amend or repeal an existing bylaw or resolution on any matter within the jurisdiction of the council under the MGA or any other enactment, subject to some limitations.”
The petition asks residents to repeal the “resolution” June 14.
The petition must also have at least 10 per cent of the population of the town to be considered, reads Section 223. In High Prairie’s case, the 2021 census population of High Prairie was 2,380 meaning 238 signatures are needed for the petition to be considered.