Wetaskiwin mayor calls recall petition against him ‘a waste of time’

Another recall petition has been initiated, this time against Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam.

Wetaskiwin resident Debby Hunker is heading the recall petition, saying in a social media post the citizens of the municipality “have lost confidence in Tyler’s ability to govern impartially.”

“We have fought for months to have our voices heard, and have done so in a professional manner. The response was for the citizens to be mocked in a video from the mayor,” Hunker wrote.

“As the chief elected official and generally the main spokesperson for the municipality, we should expect the highest level of professionalism from his office.”

Hunker says the official paperwork has been filed, and the petition will be available in the coming days. Once posted, they will have 60 days to fulfill the required signatures – needing 40 per cent of the population.

In a statement to CityNews, Gandam says recall petitions are “being weaponized” and are a “distraction for elected officials.”

Gandam, who is also the president of Alberta Municipalities, says if members of council do something wrong, they can be held accountable by the minister of municipal affairs. He pointed to the removal of the mayor and several councillors in Chestermere in December 2023.

“When community members don’t agree with a decision of council, being able to petition to have them removed is a waste of time,” Gandam wrote. “We’re elected every four years at the will of our residents. If I’m not serving my community the way they think I should, I won’t get re-elected.”

The recall petition in Wetaskiwin is the latest in a series of petitions attempting to remove elected officials in Alberta.

On Monday, a recall petition against Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek began circulating, though it would need 500,000 names in the next 60 days.

On Wednesday, the Village of Donalda announced it too received a notice of recall petition against Mayor Doug Booker.

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