Official complaint made to minister

An official complaint has been lodged against Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson, members of town council and Rimbey Municipal Library’s board

An official complaint has been lodged against Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson, members of town council and Rimbey Municipal Library’s board regarding a brochure created by the library and mailed as a stuffer into the town’s utility bill.

Mather Jaycox sent the formal complaint to Doug Griffiths, minister of municipal affairs, on May 13 and attended the council meeting that evening to state his discontent.

Jaycox has alleged the town, by distributing the brochure through the post, has violated the Local Authorities Election Act.

“He thinks it’s contrary to the election act but it’s not,” said CAO Tony Goode.

Goode had the complaint sent to the town’s lawyer, who says Jaycox misanalysed the situation and his complaint is invalid.

From the minister, Jaycox is looking for: the June 3 public vote on the library expansion and relocation of the town office suspended; “an immediate investigation into the misappropriations of the library’s funds in contradiction to the mandate and constitution of the Rimbey town library.”

Jaycox also wants, if elected officials are deemed guilty of violations, those named to be ineligible seek office for two general elections.

Jaycox says a guilty verdict for offence under this act carries a liability of a fine of $500 or more and/or imprisonment of a term no more than six months.

“Imprisonment and fines are not being sought as a result of my complaint, however, this should not preclude any appropriate penalty upon the findings of an investigation.”

Jaycox feels, because the library was able to use town forces send out their mailer, anybody else also wishing to make a statement should have had the opportunity to do so.

“Where it comes down to for me is just wanting to know things are done above board and that the people of Rimbey are being listened to. And from where I’m sitting they haven’t been,” said Jaycox.

Along with attending council’s meeting and filing a formal complaint, Jaycox also spoke with Ibbotson over the phone regarding the situation.

“I’m not a political activist in any way shape or form. I’m one of these people: I’d just as soon sit on the back bench, keep my mouth shut and be quiet. But I’m also one that when I see things that I don’t feel are right I will stand up and be counted,” explained Jaycox.

“As you said we’ve had a conversation and I’ve expressed my opinion. I don’t feel I’ve done anything wrong. We do it for other organizations, we did it for them, they asked,” said Ibbotson.

Goode doesn’t feel the complaint will have any impact of the town. “If the ministry wants to call we’ll talk to them.”

After a petition regarding the library was dismissed because it didn’t meet legal requirements council decided to hold a public vote June 3. The vote is nonbinding but council has declared it will follow the consensus of the vote.