Coun­cil squab­bles over car busi­ness

Owner feels he fol­lowed pro­to­col

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

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.

fol­lowed.

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.

Photo by Terry Roberts/The Com­pass

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