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Coun. Plumtree issues resignation letter to council

Posted on November 2, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

Re: Vauxhall Town Council

Dear Mayor, Council and Administration 

I am writing to formally resign from my position as councillor for the Town of Vauxhall, effective October 24, 2023. After serving for 10 years on the council, this decision has not been taken lightly, but I believe it is the right course of action given the following concerns I have regarding the operations and priorities within the organization. 

First and foremost, there are concerns about governance issues that have come to my attention during the past two year. It has become evident that there is limited familiarity with the Municipal Government Act (MGA) among some members of the council. A solid understanding of this legislation is essential for effective governance, and I believe that efforts should be made to enhance the council’s comprehension of the MGA, including training at every council meeting. 

Over the years, I have witnessed recurring topics dominating our discussions, with one of them being the curling rink, but more importantly, I feel that other essential facilities and infrastructure operated by the Town deserve equal attention. Notably, our community endured a nearly year-long water issue, with residents complaining about the quality of our water. The undue emphasis on the curling rink at the expense of other community needs concerns me. We have an array of facilities and infrastructure that require proper maintenance and development, and these aspects are equally important for the well-being of our residents. 

Furthermore, these conversations consistently concern everyday operations, which often fall outside of the council’s domain as stipulated by the Municipal Government Act (MGA). It is imperative that we focus on our governance responsibilities as outlined in the MGA and avoid getting bogged down in issues that should be managed by relevant departments. This shift in focus is necessary for effective governance and efficient resource allocation. 

The delayed decision-making processes, especially when such decisions can significantly benefit the community, are a source of frustration for me. Often, it takes an inordinate amount of time to make necessary changes or allocate resources when a simple readjustment of the budget or prioritization could make these changes happen swiftly. The efficiency of our decision-making processes needs to be improved to ensure that we can promptly address the community’s evolving needs and opportunities. 

Additionally, I have observed a lack of commitment from some councillors to attend council meetings and fulfill their obligations to attend their committee meetings. This lack of attendance not only undermines the effectiveness of our council but also harms the community by depriving it of proper representation and input. It is crucial that all councillors are dedicated to their roles and responsibilities to ensure that the community’s best interests are consistently represented. 

Lastly, I am disappointed that my values and aspirations for tourism and economic development within our community have only been acknowledged in principle, with little tangible action taken to advance these crucial areas. To truly support the community’s growth, we must translate our shared vision into actionable strategies and initiatives. 

I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve the Town of Vauxhall for a decade. I hope that my concerns can serve as constructive feedback for the organization’s improvement in the future. 

Thank you once again for the experience of working with the Town of Vauxhall. 

Sincerely, 

Margaret Plumtree

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