Town chided for pace of re­sponse

Deputy Mayor Ches Ash says quicker ac­tion needed on as­sort­ment of is­sues

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Car­bon­ear’s deputy mayor, Ches Ash, has expressed frus­tra­tion with the length of time it takes coun­cil to re­spond to on­go­ing is­sues in the town.

Cit­ing coun­cil’s slow re­sponse in deal­ing with some “ un­sightly scenes” around town, Ash said at the Nov. 15 coun­cil meet­ing: “ We have a busi­ness op­er­at­ing as a scrap unit with­out a busi­ness per­mit in the midst of a res­i­den­tial area. There is a very, very def­i­nite pos­si­bil­ity of con­tam­i­na­tion from gas, grease and oil.”

He was re­fer­ring to a prop­erty at 37-39 Val­ley Road. Coun­cil has de­cided to send a clean-up or­der to the reg­is­tered prop­erty own­ers. At least two pre­vi­ous clean-up or­ders had been sent to the oc­cu­pants.

While some clean-up had taken place in the past, the prob­lem is a re­cur­ring one, go­ing back more then a year, ac­cord­ing to town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis.

Ash said, “I think we need to take a look at how we re­spond to such is­sues and stream­line the way we do things.” He said there are sev­eral other out­stand­ing is­sues which have not been re­solved.

“ We need a more ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive way to do things.”

Ash said he was not crit­i­ciz­ing staff, but stressed the need to rec­og­nize the sit­u­a­tion and im­prove it.

Mayor Sam Slade said he un­der­stood Ash’s con­cerns, but stated, “some­times we (coun­cil) have to fol­low a process, and coun­cil is not above the law. We have to do things that are po­lit­i­cally cor­rect.”

Ash re­sponded: “I don’t ac­cept that we can’t move for­ward on some of these is­sues. To work on some­thing that is not re­solved in 12 months is not good enough.”

Coun. Gla­dys Mercer agreed, adding she could think of is­sues that have been on­go­ing for years with­out any res­o­lu­tion.

Mercer said there are ar­eas of town that need ex­ten­sive clean-up, where coun­cil or­ders have been ig­nored or not obeyed.

She said the process should be as sim­ple as giv­ing the prop­erty owner 30 days to clean up a prop­erty. If ac­tion is not taken, she said, the town should carry out the clean-up and charge the costs back to the prop­erty owner.

Ash expressed con­cern that the town may never re­coup its costs.

Coun. David Kennedy dis­agreed with Ash, and sug­gested the town has im­proved its re­sponse to such is­sues.

“ Un­for­tu­nately, the town doesn’t have the money to clean up (ev­ery­thing),” Kennedy said.

Slade added, “this coun­cil has made some sig­nif­i­cant strides over the last year and the town is grow­ing.”

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