Library Plebiscite Update Cards

My statement on the Library Plebiscite Update Cards

Just over 4 months ago, a group of roughly 50 people collected 6696 signatures petitioning council to have a public vote on whether or not to borrow 21.9 million dollars to construct a second library. The petition was deemed to be invalid, largely due to clerical errors. For example, one petitioner made a mistake with his affidavit of execution and 503 signatures were not counted and the petition was deemed insufficient, as the number the group was to collect to be deemed sufficient was 6465 signatures over only a 26 day period. However, a majority of council still voted to place three questions on the ballot in a non-binding plebiscite to determine public support for 3 capital projects. The question that was approved was whether or not you want a new ice sheet, a new pool or a second library with the costs and tax increases made known in the ballot question.

My position remains clear in that I have always believed that residents should decide these issues and I have agreed to abide by the results of the plebiscite.  If more than 50%+1 support building a Library or another facility I will honor that and in turn if there is less than 50% support I will abide by the results of the plebiscite.

Since the plebiscite is non-binding, it does not force the newly elected council to abide by the results of the plebiscite, so whether the plebiscite will be respected will be decided by who is elected to council. The library plebiscite committee, knowing that this plebiscite is only valuable as a public support tool if it is respected by the council elect, realized they had to get their update and message to the public.  They chose to create a brief card that updates the events since the petition was given to council, and have been going door to door handing out information contained here.

The Library Plebiscite Committee is a respected subgroup of residents, which evolved from those collecting petition signatures. They have a functioning executive committee, and a committee chair, Stan Lozinski, who serves as spokesperson for the group.

I fully support their efforts to engage in democratic efforts, and I am willing to do whatever I can to help this group. I am happy to have their recognition on my position on the plebiscite.

I have been informed that Hannes Rudolph, a council candidate, recently made a declaration stating that he too will abide by the results of the plebiscite.  Stan Lozinski informed me that the postcard was produced prior to Mr. Rudolph’s declaration. As a result of this recent declaration, Stan and the Library Plebiscite Committee agreed with Mr. Rudolph that they will black out Hannes Rudolph’s name from the unknown position list on the card. I was also told that Liam Connelly will abide by the plebiscite results, but I do not know what, if anything, has been agreed to with the Library Plebiscite Committee.

The Library Plebiscite Committee has been clear and upfront about the information they are conveying and the information about the follow up actions by council since the petition was presented to council is accurate.

I strongly urge all candidates to agree to respect the will of the public to determine if the city should be constructing a second library or any other capital projects on the plebiscite at this time.   This is essential to showing respect to the democratic process and recognizing that council is elected to represent the will of the majority of people.

About the author

Cam MacKay was born in St. Albert and has lived most of his life in the community. Having lived in the Sturgeon and Braeside neighbourhoods, Cam has grown to truly appreciate the tight, friendly communities of St. Albert. Cam was schooled in St. Albert and believes his educational experiences here prepared him well and helped in his success while attending the University of Alberta. Cam received his Bachelor of Commerce, with a major in Accounting. While working towards his Certified Management Accountant’s designation, he was a Budget Officer for the Government of Alberta, where he learned the skills that led him to fulfill his entrepreneurial dream of opening his own business, called Open Spaces Doggie Daycare. He has successfully operated this business in St. Albert’s Campbell Business Park for the past six years. Cam appreciates how important community is and has been involved with many community groups. He thinks that community is what makes St. Albert strong and is honoured to be playing a role in this regard. He is looking forward to his position on St. Albert City Council. Cam is married and has one daughter. Cam's updated bio can be found on his campaign website:
1 Response
  1. Cathy England

    Yes, there has been a lot of discussion since the plebiscite and of which I think that is unnecessary based upon the fact that we are going to have a vote on the subject. My thoughts are that we have decided to have the plebiscite, lets’ leave at that…the people will decide. However, those who plan to vote on the matter ought to think seriously about how much effort has been put into the effort by those in favour of the New Branch Library. My questions surround the facts that those working for and supporting the Library Branch have not come up with the necessary and agreed to funds to kick off the initiative. They have had several years to raise $500,000.00 as their part of the deal. Where is it? I have followed all the recent videos with presentations supporting a New Branch (C. Heron and Chairman), with no mention of their responsibility and commitment to contribute the $500,000.00. When will they own up to their commitment? Until they do. I for one will not support any Library expansion. Thank you very much.
    John L. Goldsmith
    Taxpayer and Citizen of St. Albert

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