Mayor wants new committee to focus on families
Lack of attendance
The letter was tabled at council’s June 20 regular meeting, but is dated May 10.
The letter outlines a number of challenges the committee members say the have faced in recent years, including a lack of attendance and support from council.
The letter highlighted the poor attendance at this year’s winter carnival, noting, “All events (with the exception of the senior’s card game) had attendance of between two and five people.”
It also revealed a dispute over access to audio equipment, which members say they purchased from funds raised by the committee.
The letter complained town officials limited their access to the sound system, and loaned the equipment to others, against their wishes.
The committee had requested that the system be kept at a member’s home, rather than “under lock and key” at the town hall.
Several members of the committee contacted last week by The Compass declined an interview request.
“ We’re not talking about this further. Everything we wanted to say is in the letter,” said Whelan.
Lack of communication
Mayor Coombs maintains the audio equipment was the property of the Town of Harbour Grace and the events committee purchased it with funds allocated by the town, at council’s suggestion.
Coombs said he was surprised by the resignations, and was not aware the civic events committee was unhappy with council.
“ There was a lack of communication,” Coombs said.
Deputy Mayor Terry Barnes is council’s liaison with the committee. Barnes said he was aware members were frustrated.
“ They put in a lot of work and a lot of time,” Barnes said.
Ultimately, he believes the job was simply too much work for the small group.
“Everything was done by the same five or six people,” he said. “It was just too much.”
Meanwhile, the town is moving forward with a plan to rebuild the committee.
Although the membership has not yet been confirmed, “the new committee will have around 12 or 14 people,” Barnes said.
In the past, the town had difficulty attracting volunteers for the committee.
Both Coombs and Barnes spoke carefully when asked about the previous committee, but both feel an injection of new ideas and personalities will benefit the town.
“ They’re a tremendous group,” Coombs said of the outgoing committee, “and they’ve done a lot for the town.”
Coombs wants the new members to focus on organizing events for families with young children.