Coun­cil doesn’t deal with un­signed let­ters — no cred­i­bil­ity

The Compass - - NEWS - BY DENISE PIKE

Har­bour Grace Town Coun­cil tabled a num­ber of let­ters from or­ga­ni­za­tions and res­i­dents at its March 29 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing.

Among them was a let­ter from Dawn Butt and three other let­ters from

Kelly J. Ped­dle ex­press­ing con­cern on the con­di­tion of the town.

In tabling each of the let­ters from Butt and Ped­dle Mayor Don Coombs re­ferred to them as “an­other com­pli­men­tary let­ter about the coun­cil.”

Other cor­re­spon­dence in­cluded re­quests for do­na­tions, signs, wa­ter and sewer ex­emp­tion, land of­fer and in­for­ma­tion on the Gas Tax Cir­cu­lar, en­vi­ron­men­tal awards and mem­ber­ship ben­e­fits with Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador.

Mean­while an­other un­signed let­ter/e-mail ad­dressed to coun­cil, about town fund­ing not be­ing used, was torn up.

Not­ing that the e-mail ad­dress was from some­one named “ Posh” Mayor Coombs ex­plained, “if a let­ter isn’t signed we do not use it. A let­ter doesn’t come to this coun­cil ta­ble un­less it has a sig­na­ture.”

Then the mayor ripped the pa­per in half and tossed it on the ta­ble next to him.

Res­i­dent Pauline Yet­man who goes by the nick­name “Posh” as part of her e-mail ad­dress, was sit­ting in the back of the room dur­ing the meet­ing.

“ There is no doubt in my mind that the mayor was re­fer­ring to me,” she told The Com­pass af­ter­ward. “ That was noth­ing more than a dirty dig and de­lib­er­ate and at­tack on me be­cause I am hold­ing coun­cil and the mayor ac­count­able for the con­di­tion of the town. How child­ish can he be!”

But Coombs dis­agrees. “It wasn’t a dirty dig at all. We don’t ta­ble any let­ters that don’t have a sig­na­ture at­tached and that’s not an un­com­mon prac­tice. You won’t find a town coun­cil, school coun­cil or any other or­ga­ni­za­tion or busi­ness in­clud­ing a news­pa­per that will give any cred­itabil­ity to a let­ter that doesn’t have a sig­na­ture at­tached to it. There are pro­ce­dures and rules in place for deal­ing with let­ters that come to coun­cil and I was fol­low­ing pro­to­col. Un­signed let­ters are never pre­sented or dis­cussed at our meet­ings. It just doesn’t hap­pen.”

Dur­ing the meet­ing the mayor tabled a let­ter, signed by Yet­man, ask­ing to or­ga­nize a town clean up day. Her re­quest was for­warded to mem­bers of the En­vi­ron­ment and San­i­ta­tion Com­mit­tee.

Coun­cil ap­proved in prin­ci­ple an ap­pli­ca­tion to build a shed on Cathe­dral Street. They also pro­vided an up­date on a num­ber of on­go­ing is­sues in­clud­ing at­tempts to clean up Kyle’s Land­ing, lo­cated on Wa­ter Street and a prop­erty on Devon­shire Road. Some dis­cus­sion took place on the ef­forts of coun­cil to keep Har­bour Grace Pri­mary from clos­ing, a meet­ing with Roger Pike on the de­vel­op­ment of the Amelia Earhart site, and plans for har­bour dredg­ing.


Mayor Don Coombs chaired the meet­ing, which was at­tended by Deputy Mayor Terry Barnes and coun­cil­lors Bud Chafe, Wal­ter Walsh, Joan Short and David Mur­phy.

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