Council doesn’t deal with unsigned letters — no credibility
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.