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Removed? City admin lays out Calgary Police Commission appointment procedures

Councillor Jeromy Farkas was not “removed” from the Calgary Police Commission (CPC) as a recent media release suggested, instead, it was a matter of regular business, the city said.

Last week, during the city’s annual organizational meeting, councillors were appointed to different boards and committees.

Late Sunday night, Coun. Jeromy Farkas, who is also in the midst of a bid to be mayor of Calgary, issued a release on the matter.

Coun. Farkas said that he did reapply, be but said he was “removed” from continuing to serve on the CPC. He felt the decision came after his refusal to endorse the statement “The foundation of policing is racist.”  Farkas also said the lack of reappointment comes as he opposes any cut to Calgary Police Service funding.

Council will make budget adjustment decisions later this November.

“By courting the ‘abolish and defund police’ movement, City Council is playing with fire and it’s Calgarians who are getting burned,” Farkas said.

“There is no position or title in the world that is worth putting my family, neighbours, and constituents in danger. I would rather be fired than be made to do or to say something that would put Calgarians at risk.”

Questioning the procedure

Coun. Jyoti Gondek, in question period during the Combined Meeting of Council, asked about the procedure for appointments to boards.

Gondek herself stepped down from the Calgary Police Commission, posting her thoughts to social media at the end of last week.

In question period, Coun. Gondek asked: “If I could just clarify – if a councillor’s term comes to an end, and they’re not reappointed to that position, is that called a removal.”

The city clerk explained that councillors and citizen members are recruited for various boards, commissions and committees annually. 

“So, we do that every year,” the city clerk said.

“Typically, at org we’re looking at appointments. Only there isn’t a process for removal. It’s a process for either appointment or reappointment.”

It’s believed other council members applied. No rationale was available from the city at the time of publishing for why Coun. Farkas was not reappointed.

Coun. Ward Sutherland later posted to Facebook a more detailed version of what happens during organizational day.