Cit­i­zen feels de­nied right to speak at meet­ing

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

Dear edi­tor,

I be­lieve as a tax pay­ing res­i­dent of the town of Car­bon­ear I should be able to speak at any town meet­ing as long as I give a no­tice with a let­ter at the proper time.

On May 17 we had a wa­ter leak un­der our house. For­tu­nately it was not a ma­jor leak and didn’t do much dam­age. When the leak started we im­me­di­ately phoned the town of­fice. It was all of ten min­utes be­fore we made con­tact with some­one at the town of­fice.

At the May 18 reg­u­lar sched­uled coun­cil meet­ing, when the mayor ad­journed the meet­ing I spoke with the mem­bers of coun­cil about my con­cern at not be­ing able to get im­me­di­ate con­tact with some­one in the of­fice. This leak could have been a ma­jor one. I then sug­gested as had been sug­gested months ear­lier by a concerned res­i­dent of our town that the town of Car­bon­ear should have an emer­gency call num­ber. I could just imag­ine what could have hap­pened if this had oc­curred on a long week­end.

Councillor Gla­dys Mercer in a very un­pro­fes­sional man­ner triv­i­al­ized my con­cern. I be­lieve Coun. Mercer should con­duct her­self in a pro­fes­sion man­ner when speak­ing with any mem­ber of our town and es­pe­cially when in our coun­cil cham­bers. Ms Mercer is an elected mem­ber of our coun­cil and should act ac­cord­ingly. She is there to lis­ten to any­one’s con­cerns and help make the town the best place to live, not to be­lit­tle peo­ple and be ob­nox­ious. Her ac­tions both­ered me so much that I con­tacted Deputy Mayor Ches Ash and told him I wanted an apol­ogy from Coun. Mercer and ex­plained why. Deputy Mayor Ash said he would not do this, and that I had to request to speak at the next meet­ing and request a per­sonal apol­ogy my­self. The deputy mayor had no prob­lem de­mand­ing an apol­ogy from an­other cit­i­zen a few months ear­lier, even af­ter the cit­i­zen had done so in The Com­pass and at a meet­ing, and then again at the next meet­ing.

I passed in my let­ter on June 14 to speak on June 21. That meet­ing was post­poned to June 28. When we at­tended that meet­ing, Town Clerk Cathy Somers told me 30 sec­onds be­fore the meet­ing was called to or­der that I would not be able to speak and that she didn’t in­form me be­cause she was too busy to phone me. She also in­formed me coun­cil de­cided who can speak and what they can speak about.

Like I said at the be­gin­ning I feel that as a tax­payer of this town, when I pass in all the ap­pro­pri­ate paper work in a timely man­ner I have the right to speak at a pub­lic coun­cil meet­ing on any sub­ject that I feel is im­por­tant to me with­out prej­u­dice.

The emer­gency num­ber is on the back burner, but the signs were in­stalled on no name road very promptly. De­bra Brad­bury


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