Saturday, I spent a couple of hours catching up with Gerard. It was the first time we had visited since the municipal election. In our discussion about L4794’s future political action plans, we looked back at the Local’s first concerted political action; Good Governance for Rocky View County aka Scrutineer School. Just a recap/summary In the name of Good Governance for Rocky View County, we offered a non-partisan scrutineer service to all candidates In support of that initiative, we educated 30+ people in the role and responsibilities of a scrutineer. We provided information and interviews to the press and declined to align ourselves with any candidates.

The county issued a fact sheet 2017 Election Fact Sheet – Setting the Record Straight

We responded with a letter clearly outlining our intent and concern for the apparent misunderstanding of that LTR Fact Sheet Response Sep 14-17

In an email to all those that expressed interest in our scrutineer school. EML Scrutineer School September 27 Invitation again we were very clear what our intent was. Transparent and honest.

In response, what looked like a letter to the editor, but was actually a paid advertisement Friends, our true motives were questioned. It appeared Mr Matthew’s comprehension skills were lacking and/or he purposely took a lot out of context to fabricate a false perception of our motives. Why would he do that? It is not flattering and blatantly critical based on misquoting of an email that was honest and transparent.

My response was clear and concise

Six days before the election, the County responded (signed by Greta Martin, HR Director) to this exchange with this letter 2017-10-10 Influence Election which makes no sense and does not prove that anything we did was in conflict of the CBA article quoted. If it was, then a grievance against the union or discipline of the executive would have been pursued.

We brought this discussion to Labour-Management in late October and made it clear that our motives and behaviour were completely above board and had since proven to be so. How can we prove that as fact, not just our perception? All our communications and actions were consistent and proven; “we said what we were going to do and we did what we said we would”.

What responses did we see during the election cycle? A “fact sheet” that targets our intentions and abilities. A defamatory paid advertisement from a citizen. A weak letter from HR. What we did not encounter were grievances or discipline from HQ.

What are the common themes here? Firefighters are good guys and gals that “walk the talk”. In contrast, there appears to be a pattern of defamation of our Local. All from within the County, except for one paid ad from a citizen. Who knows who his “friends” are.Hopefully this ended with the majority exit of the previous council. They appeared desperate until the end or gearing up for another term and opposing us.

Did we make a difference? Yes, we proved our character and that it is valid in any political arena. Though there was “bad press”, they were weak attempts that we dodged unscathed, making our detractors look mean-minded.

We improved existing relationships with the press, got our presence out in the public, and made some new friends on council. Thanks to all that gave their time and participated. Next steps in the works. Stay tuned.