Councillor exposes anonymous letter from 2012
Note tells Coun. Roger Lemieux he's "next" to be tossed from council
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 06:00 am
An outgoing councillor has brought forward an anonymous letter sent to him last year that suggested he was “next” when it came to ousting incumbent council members.
Coun. Roger Lemieux received the letter March 5, 2012 at his home address. The writer seems to identify themselves as part of the St. Albert Taxpayers’ Association.
“I know you hate the taxpayers association Well Mr. Lemieux we are going to remove you from office (sic),” reads the typed letter which contained almost no punctuation. It goes on to claim Cam MacKay and Malcolm Parker as part of the letter writer’s group, takes credit for getting Gareth Jones out of office and hopes to “bring crouse and heron down (sic)” in 2016 and Lemieux in 2013. At the time, terms had not been officially changed to four years so 2016 would have been the next municipal election.
“You are next,” the letter says. “In 2016 SATA is in control of city hall.”
Lemieux said in an interview Monday he has no idea why this letter was sent to him. At the time of receipt he showed it to his council colleagues.
“So when he says, ‘Mr. Lemieux we are going to remove you from office,’ first of all I’ve done nothing wrong … only an act of legislature can remove me from office or else a new election and that’s the voters’ privilege to do that,” Lemieux said.
The letter was sent to his home and he felt as though his privacy was invaded.
But what really upsets him is that the letter-writer discredits the voters that elected Lemieux and the rest of council. “This is an attack not just on myself and other people, but it’s an attack on the voters that voted for us,” Lemieux said. “They’re telling the majority of St. Albert voters that they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
The declaration that in 2016 the taxpayers association would take control of city hall is another thing that upset him.
“That sentence right there is scary and I want the citizens to know … that somebody who is tied into all this whole thing is sending out a letter,” Lemieux said.
He’s bringing it forward now because he feels the citizens should know of the letter, and the “vindictive” attacks occurring as part of the municipal election process.
“It’s my duty to inform the citizens of St. Albert what’s gong on,” he said. “Unless there was something drastically that was not normal in our terms, what did we do so wrong? And what is with this anonymous approach to everything?”
Lemieux can’t be certain the letter is tied into the current election but said it did appear it’s related. He noted he is proud of what his time on council and what the current council has accomplished.
“This is somewhat bullying,” Lemieux said. “Obviously, according to this letter I received, a group of individuals want to run city hall.”
Voters get to decide who is in or out on council, Lemieux said.
“This is a democratic process. We go to the polls to vote,” he said. “I don’t know what their endgame is, but this is not very nice.”
He pointed out he can’t even tell if the sender is a St. Albert resident.
The police were advised when the letter was received but Lemieux did not proceed any farther than that. Lemieux said the letter had nothing to do with why he did not run again.
George Valan, president of the St. Albert Taxpayers Association, said he’s been a long-standing member of the association and has never seen or heard of the letter until now.
“It is my experience with SATA is that we deal with facts and issues and would not endorse these types of tactics,” Valan said in an email. “The fact that it is anonymous and inflammatory towards our organization is very disconcerting.”