Citizen feels denied right to speak at meeting
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