Since the public announcement of the SUREAL group, Sturgeon County residents have been faced with two very different narratives about exactly who this group is and what their objectives are.
SUREAL's narrative is:
This is a grassroots organization started around a kitchen table by everyday resident taxpayers and that its mission is to protect the taxpayers of Sturgeon County from an out-of-control council.
The counter narrative is:
SUREAL was formed by a group of current and former politicians in partnership with a group of businesspersons who are not happy that the current councilors replaced a land-developer-friendly group in the last election. The current council has clamped down on land developers who try to maximize profits by doing only the minimum (and sometimes not even that) and walk away leaving taxpayers to fix the problems they leave behind. Their wish is to get a majority of 'developer-friendly' councilors elected in this fall's election.
Of course, nobody would get elected running on this platform so it is necessary that they hide behind a proxy organization and direct it to undermine specific councilors to enable their replacement in the upcoming election. It is alleged that the real purpose of SUREAL is to rile up taxpayers by whatever means available on every issue possible and this includes their constant misrepresentation and exaggeration of facts to put the worst possible light on them. Sounds like something they might have learned from a recent election to the south of us. Most of the public that has been brought into SUREAL don't realize it but they are nothing more than pawns and their issues will immediately be superseded by the interests of the businesspersons involved as soon as the election is over.
So which narrative is true?
Well consider this:
During a February council meeting, two residents directly confronted councilors BOKENFOHR and TIGHE and demanded they reveal their involvement with the creation and running of the SUREAL organization to undermine the very council they were supposed to be serving. Both, IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNCILORS adamantly denied they are involved in any way with SUREAL. At a later meeting in May they were again confronted by another councilor and again denied their involvement. The SUREAL spokespeople have continually repeated this narrative that this is a grass-roots organization that is completely open and transparent and has no hidden agenda.
This all comes down to a matter of who you trust and who is being honest. On one side, you have five members of Sturgeon Council (FLYNN, SHAW, KAUP, EVANS, CARON) who say they have been working hard to straighten out the mess they inherited from previous councils and the other side you have two councilors (TIGHE, BOKENFOHR) denying any involvement with the business people acting as SUREAL spokespersons, who in turn claim this was all started by some anonymous everyday residents.
You will have to decide - who is being truthful and who you can trust.
In making up your mind you might want to read this email which was recently found on the Internet, apparently forwarded to someone by mistake. Note that it is dated just prior to the February meeting where councilors BOKENFOHR and TIGHE denied any involvement with SUREAL and its leadership and read the email address of who sent it and who is CC's on it. Take note of the use of the word "we".
"When questioned about the group by retired councillor Ken McGillis and another resident, Councillors Wayne Bokenfohr and Patrick Tighe said they had met with and (in Bokenfohr’s case) advised SUREAL, but were not members or founders of it." - St Albert Gazette 8 Feb 2017
Clearly both BOKENFOHR and TIGHE have been involved in the organizing of SUREAL to undermine the very council they are suppose to be a part of and yet when confronted with this during council meetings and while in their official capacity as councilors, denied it.
Are you prepared to trust anything these guys say?
Does this strike you as the actions of honest and open persons of integrity?
Do you want councilors who make secret arrangements with businesses?
And so what is the REAL purpose and goals of SUREAL?
Simple. Go back and read the first part of this article again.