County no longer seeks equal PAECS representation

After a unanimous vote among county councillors, council is not seeking equal representation on the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society

After a unanimous vote among county councillors, council is not seeking equal representation on the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) board — to match the Stampede Association and the Ponoka Agriculture Society — and is content with only one representative.

Newly elected county rep for the PAECS board Doug Weir feels council returning their support to the board with just one representative won’t overtax it in any way. “I think it’s (Calnash Ag Event Centre) all for the good of Ponoka and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Ponoka in the last 15 years.”

He feels it was unfortunate the differences between the organizations that made up the PAECS board became an unforeseen problem, but the board working there now is running the operation smoothly alongside those governing PAECS members.

“I think we need to have representation on the board, I don’t think we need to have equal representation and I think we need to go back and say ‘hey, we’ll assist you when we can,’” said Weir.

The previous county council was at an impasse after withdrawing all finances and resources from the centre until equal representation was granted.

“Where it was left, the county withdrew all its ongoing support, both financially and with our work sources until such time that this representation issue was resolved one way or the other,” said county CAO Charlie Cutforth.

He believes there is outstanding work the PAECS board would like the county to do. “Our concern has been and is, strategically, to try and accomplish that.

Precedent shows the county has a history of supporting different community organizations, churches and community halls. However, Cutforth is concerned Calnash Ag Event Centre’s schedule is too busy for the county to fully service them.

He wants to make sure county machinery and resources aren’t going to be pulled from county jobs in order to prepare the ag event centre each time they hold an event.

“The other part of the concern is county council, at the time, wanted to see some things done. Particularly with some substantial contributions county’s made to this point that for whatever reason weren’t considered a priority,” Cutforth added.

A primary concern of the county was a large sign visible from Highway 2A to let people know what events were taking place inside, as well as provide accreditation to major donators to the building and its operations. “I know a number of them were assured they would see their name in lights,” said Cutforth.

He also says some of the issues and concerns stem from the governing makeup of the “unique” organization. Most communities with equivalent centres have the operation run by the ag society.

More issues came to head when the ag centre’s manager, Chas Lambert, was fired early last year.

The county had assumed PAECS would take a governing role and let the hired manager look after the day-to-day operations. “The Ag Society and the Stampede Association have always been and are operational boards. They are directly involved in the day-to-day operation,” said Cutforth.

“If you’re looking for my opinion, and I go right back to the original concept, I don’t think it matters a lick who represents who if you’ve got the right people sitting on that board for the right reasons,” he added.

He doesn’t feel the differences and divisional lines between the organizations are worth the animosity in the community because they’re all representing the same building and common goals.

 

Just Posted

Ponoka’s production of Suds promises a rocking time

The Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society presents a rocking musical for its winter production

Ponoka looking for ways to fix splash park issues

Council hears report on challenges last summer, will have to wait on costs

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

Survey of Ponoka residents state recreation as top budget priority

A total of 122 survey responses also note need for increased bylaw enforcement

Ponoka will save $430,000 with change to new waste contractor

Transition to take place with CanPak for Jan. 1, contract includes two bins

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Reflections: The Johnston family and one of Ponoka’s largest early homes

A look at an early home in Ponoka, which at the time was one of Ponoka’s largest

Remember When: Looking back at Ponoka’s Johnston family

A look at the family who moved into a ‘palatial’ Ponoka home

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Most Read