Advertisement

Medicine Hat mayor stripped of powers and pay by city council

Medicine Hat city council found that Mayor Linnsie Clark breached the city’s code of conduct bylaw in her treatment of the city manager at a council meeting last year. (City of Medicine Hat - image credit)
Medicine Hat city council found that Mayor Linnsie Clark breached the city’s code of conduct bylaw in her treatment of the city manager at a council meeting last year. (City of Medicine Hat - image credit)

The mayor of Medicine Hat was stripped of powers and pay at a special meeting of city council Thursday.

Council found that Linnsie Clark breached the city's code of conduct bylaw in her treatment of the city manager at a council meeting last year.

According to a statement published on the city's website, council found that Clark failed to treat the city manager with "courtesy, dignity and respect" during their exchange at the meeting on Aug. 21, 2023.

A list of sanctions was approved at Thursday's meeting, including the suspension of the mayor's presiding duties, the publication of a letter of reprimand, a request for an apology, and a prohibition from entering the administration area of city hall and having contact with city staff outside council meetings.

In a Facebook post, Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark wrote that she “fundamentally disagrees” with council's decision to reprimand her.
In a Facebook post, Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark wrote that she “fundamentally disagrees” with council's decision to reprimand her.

In a Facebook post, Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark wrote that she 'fundamentally disagrees' with council's decision to reprimand her. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

Clark will also no longer be the official council spokesperson and can only communicate with the city manager via emails that must be copied to all council members.

Due to the reduced nature of her responsibilities, Clark's salary has been cut in half.

Clark was not at Thursday's special meeting, but she wrote in a Facebook post that she "fundamentally disagrees" with the decision.

"I ran on a platform of change for the citizens of Medicine Hat who were concerned about administrative overreach and poor governance at city hall. I stand by those principles. I believe holding the city's administration to account is the role of council," Clark's statement said.

"I find council's sanction shocking and absolutely disproportionate. I am reviewing my legal options and expect to be in a position to provide a further public response after I have done so."

Council plans to address the appointment of a rotating chair for future meetings at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on April 8.