Council squabbles over car business
Owner feels he followed protocol
The establishment of a used car business in Clarke’s Beach had some members of the town council up in arms last week, with some councillors complaining that the regulations for such matters need to be more tightly enforced.
Coun. Roland Andrews chairs the town’s economic development committee, but expressed frustration that L and L Used Auto had begun selling vehicles from a rented space in the Edmund’s Building at No. 6-12 Conception Bay Highway last month without any approval from council or the committee.
Andrews said proper channels were not followed, and questioned why he was not forwarded a copy of a letter from the owner of the business, Lewis Morgan. Morgan wrote the town last month, advising council of his intentions.
“As chair (of the economic development committee), no one saw fit to send it on to me?” he asked.
That sparked a chorus of comments, with some councillors suggesting that Morgan was operating without the proper authorization. Mayor Betty Moore said Morgan was operating in an area zoned for commercial activity, and was probably “ waiting to hear from us.”
Town clerk Joan Wilcox said she notified Coun. Eldon Snow — also a member of the economic development committee — of the letter, but acknowledged that Coun. Andrews should have been given a copy so the committee could begin the authorization process.
“ What do we do after the fact?” Andrews asked.
Andrews and others stressed they were supportive of having new businesses come to the town, but said proper channels had to be
Coun. Roland Andrews is chair of the Town of Clarke’s Beach economic development committee.
Council passed a motion, directing the committee to make contact with Morgan to “see what’s on the go.”
Meanwhile, Morgan was perplexed when contacted by The Compass last week.
“I dropped off a letter, like they recommended,” Morgan said. “ They haven’t spoken to me about whether I’m in the right or the wrong. I didn’t know there was a problem until you just called.”
Morgan is a resident of Makinsons who’s been selling used cars on a small scale for several years. There were six used vehicles for sale on his lot last week.
Morgan said he’s more than willing to follow the rules for operating his business in the town, and looks forward to discussing the issue with council.
“I’m just trying to make a living like everybody else. If the council wants some tax money, that’s not a problem with me,” he said.