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Alberta Council Decides to Sanction Mayor for Conflict with City Manager

An Alberta city council has taken away the powers and salary of its mayor, citing disrespectful behavior towards the city manager during a meeting.

Medicine Hat City Council decided to reduce Mayor Linnsie Clark’s responsibilities due to a breach of conduct, also cutting her pay by 50 percent.

The council made this decision at a special meeting on March 21.

“Council finds Mayor Linnsie Clark has breached the City’s Code of Conduct Bylaw 4492 by failing to treat the City Manager with courtesy, dignity and respect during their exchange at the August 21, 2023 Open Council meeting,” the council meeting agenda stated.

“To successfully address the challenges in our community, trust and respect must exist between City Council and Administration,” a statement on the city website emphasized. “City of Medicine Hat employees are critical to the vitality and success of our community. We rely on staff to bring forward recommendations based on their expertise, knowledge, and insights, and it is imperative that we foster an environment where administration feels safe and respected when interacting with City Council.”

Ms. Clark expressed surprise at the council’s decision.

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“I fundamentally disagree with the decision of Council. I find Council’s sanction shocking and absolutely disproportionate,” she said in a March 21 Facebook post. “I am reviewing my legal options and expect to be in a position to provide a further public response after I have done so.”

She reiterated her commitment to addressing administrative overreach and poor governance, stating that holding the City’s administration accountable is the role of Council.

The provincial government acknowledged the council’s decision.

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