Cremona to go under the microscope
A spokesperson for Alberta Municipal Affairs has confirmed that a dissolution study will be undertaken for the Village of Cremona.
“The petition has been deemed to be sufficient,” said Jerry Ward, public affairs officer with the ministry. “However, at this point, we will be waiting until early May before initiating further steps to determine what the dissolution study process will entail.”
In February, a petition containing over 160 signatures was delivered to Alberta Municipal Affairs by Jen Thompson and Colleen Oughton, two Cremona business partners who – along with others in the community - have expressed concerns over decisions council and village administration have made in the past.
“I’m happy the study is going to happen,” said Thompson. “I really want to see what happens with this and where the numbers come up and really see whether we’d be better off with the county.”
In general terms, a dissolution study examines the finances, services and governance of a municipality, providing clear information for the minister and residents.
Thompson added that people she has talked with are patiently waiting until May, to hear more from the ministry regarding an update on the study.
“People I’ve talked to all have their own kind of issue,” she said. “It’s everything from why the infrastructure and sidewalks have deteriorated, to why so much is spent on administrative salaries.
“That’s a huge one.”
Mayor Leslie Abrams stated that “162 residents are responsible for the village’s dissolution study. Now, it’s the responsibility of all residents to keep apprised of all steps of this process, to read all communications and if necessary, attend any public meetings,” she said. “In the event that dissolution becomes a decision of the residents, they will be able to make an educated decision on the future of our village.”
Abrams also noted that Minister Griffiths is “following process.”
“As stated in the Municipal Government Act, Section 130(2)(b), the minister must undertake a dissolution study in respect of a municipality, if the minister receives a sufficient petition requesting the study from electors of the municipality numbering at least 30 per cent of the municipality’s population,” she said.
The residents that want to disassemble what has been built over the last 50 years have spoken, she added.
“This process will be an opportunity for those of us who truly believe in Cremona and its potential to speak up and participate to ensure our village continues to thrive and grow,” said Abrams. “I believe Cremona has a strong foundation and with vision, it can grow to its potential with the support of our residents who have demonstrated time and again what we are capable of when we work together for the greater good.”
Abrams said she would pass on all communications from the minister as they become available.
“Currently, we are awaiting further information on process activities and timelines as the study process has yet to be determined.”