No con­flict of in­ter­est

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

So how did this cir­cum­stance come about?

The pre­vi­ous main­te­nance per­son with the Town of Clarke’s Beach, David Moore Sr., held the po­si­tion for many years. He took sick about two years ago, and later served no­tice that he wouldn’t be re­turn­ing to the post.

The town had been dis­cussing the pos­sibil­ity of hir­ing some­one with train­ing in wa­ter op­er­a­tions, and Laracy had the right cre­den­tials, said Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore.

Laracy was hired in Oc­to­ber 2009, when he was a Cupids town coun­cil­lor. He later as­sumed the mayor’s post. Laracy pre­vi­ously worked for the towns of Cupids and South River in sim­i­lar ca­pac­i­ties.

“I think (Ron) is do­ing an ex­cel­lent job,” said Mayor Moore. “Coun­cil, on the whole, is very pleased with him.”

And, she added, his job has noth­ing to do with him be­ing the mayor of an­other com­mu­nity.

If any­thing, Moore con­sid­ers her town to be for­tu­nate, and won­ders, “ how many towns around ac­tu­ally have a full-time wa­ter op­er­a­tor on staff?”

Laracy op­er­ates the chlo­rine plant in Clarke’s Beach, which makes him re­spon­si­ble for the de­liv­ery of safe and clean drink­ing wa­ter to res­i­dents. Moore said he dou­bles as waste­water op­er­a­tor and main­te­nance per­son, with the for­mer be­ing his pri­or­ity.

In Cupids, mean­while, Laracy’s col­leagues on coun­cil seem to have no prob­lem with the ar­range­ment. Sev­eral coun­cil­lors re­fused an in­ter­view, but long­time Coun. Chris­tine Burry said it’s a non-is­sue.

“ We can­not pick and choose a job a per­son does,” she said. “As long as Cupids is­sues are Cupids is­sues, and Clarke’s Beach is­sues are Clarke’s Beach is­sues, there will be no prob­lem, as long as the mayor re­mem­bers that his main pri­or­ity is our town.”

A spokes­woman for the De­part­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs, Heather MacLean, is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment: “ We would not have in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the em­ploy­ment of any in­di­vid­u­als who par­tic­i­pate in mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil.”

She said both town coun­cils are “dis­tinct en­ti­ties” and there is no con­flict of in­ter­est.

When pressed, she sug­gested that a mayor of one mu­nic­i­pal­ity work­ing with an­other mu­nic­i­pal­ity isn’t unique in pro­vin­cial mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. “ When I men­tioned it to of­fi­cials, they did not seem to feel it was unique or un­usual.”

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