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  • Writer's pictureallardkg

It Seems We’ve Replaced King Bob with Queen Merete Pt 2

Repeal Bylaws 4662 and 4311!

This combines two posts originally published to my Facebook page.

RECAP (Not all is verbatim)

Acting City Manager (ACM) Merete Heggelund told the Council Employee Committee (CEC) that she doesn’t want Council to have the results of the Employee Engagement Survey as “hearing the opinions of employees about their working conditions is not allowed”. She said if she’d been ACM when the committee was formed, she’d have prevented it. Employer reviews on Glass Door were not kind.

The Making of Queen Merete Predated the Making of King Bob

July 7 2015 Queen Merete was crowned by Ted Clugston with Bylaw 4311 which replaced Bylaw 3857. Here's the Bylaws, just enter the number.

Under Bylaw 3857, only Council had the power to hire and fire top executives. This included the Commissioners (now called Managing Directors), the City Solicitor and the City Clerk.

The CAO (Chief Administrative Officer, now City Manager) could NOT revoke those appointments.

Bylaw 4311 removed the power from Council to hire and fire the top administrators AWAY from council and gave it to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO aka City Manager). She went from CAO to Queen after only 18 months. Impressive.

There are 4 screenshots below.

April 19 2021 King Bob was crowned by TedClugston with Bylaw 4662 (replacing 4311). That gave King Bob additional powers to hire and fire both our City Solicitor and City Clerk, power once held ONLY by council.

So as of April 2021 the City Manager has the Ultimate Power to hire and fire anyone. Council has no choice but to trust our City Manager.

I wrote about that last year – here’s the link for more details.

Now the Queen is back with even more power than she had before. The CAO/City Manager is Council’s sole employee, they have to trust that one person will do the right thing.

Trust is earned, not given.

Our City did not get in this state overnight, this s--- goes back decades. Staff brought in from private companies (especially oil companies such as StatOil where the Queen previously worked) seem to forget they are Civil Servants.

“Having previously worked in the private sector with Statoil and several other energy firms, she was considered a good fit...

Did You Know?

According to her Alberta Utilities Commission bio, Merete Heggelund's entire career has been in the oil/gas industry. She had absolutely NO experience in running a city before she was hired as Corporate Services Commissioner by the city of Medicine Hat in 2012.

(I can also add her Linked In profile if necessary but this should suffice.)

Ms Heggelund was made Acting CAO of Municipal Services in December 2013 and then made CAO January 30 2013. (At the time we had both a CAO and a COO. We had a Chief Administrative Officer Municipal Services and a Chief Operating Officer Energy Services

The COO position was created in 2008 and held by one man until he left partway through 2015. The COO position magically disappeared but not before the City of Medicine Hat had paid him, wait for it, $2,854,000 in those 8 years. I did a post on this last August called Pigs at Our Trough. Watch for the repost.)

It’s time we put an end to the Monarchy at Medicine Hat City Hall!

Repeal Bylaws 4662 and 4311!

This next part was Post #4 on my Facebook page.

Notes Taken During the April 26 Council Employee Committee (CEC) Meeting

My shorthand is lousy.; the tape is not available to the public so nothing is verbatim.

Queen Merete said she

- wants council to stay out of her purview

- wasn’t there during the discussions, she’s uneasy about the committee

- thinks that Council getting survey results at the departmental level would be a violation of the Code of Conduct, 8.6(a) was mentioned

“8.6. Members must not:

(a) involve themselves in matters of Administration, which fall within the jurisdiction of the Chief Administrative Officer”

I call bulls---!

By that logic, council wouldn’t be entitled to any financial information about individual departments

Her Majesty also said

- directors had feelings of “threatening and bullying” from the last time there was a survey, there was still a lot of hard feelings

- directors will be intimidated if council is looking into their departments

Again, I call Bulls---!

That’s not intimidation, that’s called being held accountable

Councilor Robins wanted to hear the employee perspective, spoke about confidentiality on info provided

Her Majesty - “Council hearing the opinion of employees about their working conditions is not allowed”

Excuse me? Once again, I'm calling bulls---!

Councilor Van Dyke wanted to know about "hot spots" so they can create policy to help fix it. She also raised issue of pay equity, have we ever done one? (Pay equity makes sure that there is no gender based inequities. Eg - assuming they have the same duties and responsibilities, employees in female dominated departments should make the same as those in male dominated departments.)

Our Acting City Manager cited the union pay scale, everyone is equal. She may be correct there. I have no way of knowing without a lot more information. That would be better suited for someone with experience in Human Resources.

It’s time we put an end to the Monarchy at Medicine Hat City Hall!

Repeal Bylaws 4662 and 4311!

More to come, stay tuned!

#kasosumh #yxh #yxhcitymanager #shilasharps #alisonvandyke #mayorclark #ramonarobins

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