The Alberta government confirmed to Global News Wednesday a municipal inspection will be done in the Village of Warner, after a petition was signed by residents alleging wrongdoing by village officials.
Petitioners say more than 20 per cent of the town’s population signed the petition.
Warner resident John Baird says the investigation is long overdue.
“Council is supposed to work with the people,” Baird said.
Warner residents launched the petition in July 2016.
In September, it was sent to Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson.
One month later, the minister confirmed the petition was sufficient and a preliminary review would be conducted.
Last month, the village was notified an inspection will be ordered and can look into any matter connected with management, administration or operation of the village.
Warner Mayor Tyler Lindsay says he felt blindsided.
“We were never approached, never had people come to council, request changes, especially numbers of that magnitude. We don’t know why it was brought forth without consultation of council,” Lindsay said.
The petition raises 17 concerns, including allegations of conflict of interest in land sales, and allegations of bullying involving the town’s Chief Administrative Officer Jon Hood.
Village officials questions why none of the concerns were brought forward at a public meeting last November, but Baird believes there would have been no point.
“You go to a public meeting there’s all these councilors sitting there, including Hood…you make a statement, as soon as you walk out the door, it’s gone,” Baird said.
Hood is also facing a criminal charge over an incident allegedly involving him, Baird and another Warner resident, Lyle Taylor, after the inspection was ordered.
Milk River RCMP confirm to Global News Hood was charged with one count of uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death.
Hood declined an interview Wednesday, but denies the allegations against him.
He says he won’t comment on the municipal review until after it’s complete.