Submitted by Mayor Andrew Prokop
The alleged transparency concerns raised by mayor candidate, Ken Holst, in relation to Taber town council and closed session, where Mr. Holst indicates far more material currently dealt with in closed session, should in open session, is not remotely accurate.
Mr. Ken Holst has publicly stated that some things have to be in closed session, but more things should be in open session, to allow the public to know what is going on. And what and why certain decisions are being made. Mr. Holst has also publicly confirmed that land, legal, and labour items must be in closed session.
I, Mayor Andrew Prokop, did some research on public available information on closed session items. From Oct. 1, 2020 through to Sept. 30, 2021, that included 22 regularly scheduled town council meetings.
These findings include 93 per cent of all closed session items actually dealt with land, legal, and labour matters, that absolutely must be in closed session, under Section 16 and 24, Risk of Disclosure of third-party privacy and advice from officials of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Legislation (FOIP).
I can also tell you that with my background in law enforcement, I will never put the Town of Taber, our town council, or myself at risk, in any liability jeopardizing position, that does not property align with FOIP legislation and complete justification for items that are absolutely necessary to be included as closed session material.