Town council has turned down a request by the Rimbey librarian and gone against a recommendation by the town’s CAO to appoint Gayle Rondeel to the municipal library board.
At its regular meeting Monday, Jan. 13, council, in a secret ballot, voted against Rondeel being a member of the library board. Coun. Mathew Jaycox requested the secret ballot and the vote count was not revealed. However, the mayor said the recommendation for Rondeel to sit on the library board was defeated.
Florence Stemo, a county resident, who was among several people in the council gallery, spoke out against council’s decision.
“What are the qualities of someone joining the library board?” she questioned. “Does council have faith in letting the librarian chose a library board position?”
Coun. Paul Payson, who sits on the library board said to his knowledge council had not denied anyone a position on the library board who had been recommended by the librarian.
He said an interest in literacy is one of the qualities needed for the position.
A past history of working productively with other committees is another quality to be considered, said Coun. Jaycox.
Stemo accused council of making its decision based on personal prejudice.
Mayor Rick Pankiw, who appeared visibly annoyed with Stemo, retorted by saying council is not obligated to respond to such an accusation. On more than one occasion, he accused her of smirking and threatened to ask her to leave the council chambers.
In background information in the council package it states Rimbey Municipal Library Board has had two library board members resign.
Library manager, Jean Keetch said Rondeel met all the requirements set forth in the application and her application was endorsed by CAO Tony Goode.
In an article written in Jan. 21 edition of the Rimbey Review titled ‘Former councillor’s application to sit on library board turned down by council’ information was omitted. In the article it states: Stemo accused council of making its decision based on personal prejudice. Mayor Rick Pankiw, who appeared visibly annoyed with Stemo, retorted by saying council is not obligated to respond to such an accusation.
Mayor Pankiw, in fact, responded to Stemo when she said to Councillor Jaycox, I have a good idea how you voted seeing you requested the secret ballot. Pankiw responded by saying you are out of order and I am not sure we are obligated to say what the vote was other than it was defeated.
The Review apologizes for this omission.