En­forcemenet of­fi­cer hir­ing di­vides coun­cil

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MIKA REKAI

The Town of Car­bon­ear has made an of­fer of em­ploy­ment to a new mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer, but the de­ci­sion has caused some con­flict among mem­bers of coun­cil.

At a coun­cil meet­ing on July 20, Coun. David Kennedy tabled a mo­tion that would have the town with­draw its of­fer of em­ploy­ment.

Kennedy ex­pressed con­cerns that the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cant would be do­ing con­tract work out­side of his nor­mal du­ties as mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer. Kennedy ques­tioned whether that was ap­pro­pri­ate, and sug­gested coun­cil did not have suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion on the can­di­date when it en­dorsed his hir­ing.

Kennedy’s mo­tion ended with a 3-3 tie, mean­ing it was de­feated.

The suc­cess­ful can­di­date — the town will not re­lease his name un­til he of­fi­cially ac­cepts the po­si­tion — is a re­tired po­lice of­fi­cer who was born and raised in Car­bon­ear, said Kennedy.

Out­side con­tract

Kennedy said there was “no men­tion” of an out­side con­tract dur­ing the in­ter­view process.

“Af­ter coun­cil of­fered this in­di­vid­ual the job, he waited over a week to re­spond, and then told the hir­ing com­mit­tee that he would take the po­si­tion, pro­vided that coun­cil was com­fort­able with him tak­ing this out­side job as well,” Kennedy told The Com­pass.

As is prac­tice dur­ing mat­ters re­lat­ing to per­son­nel, coun­cil dis­cussed the is­sue pri­mar­ily dur­ing priv­i­leged meet­ings.

Kennedy said he felt the process was rushed, and that coun­cil was not given all the req­ui­site de­tails.

Mean­while, Mayor Sam Slade and Coun. Betty For­ward voted with Kennedy to re­scind the of­fer of em­ploy­ment.

While Slade said he still sup­ports the suc­cess­ful can­di­date, he voted for the mo­tion be­cause he felt he needed more in­for­ma­tion from the com­mit­tee.

“ There were a cou­ple of ques­tions I wanted an­swers to, but I didn’t get the an­swers,” said Slade.

Op­posed to Kennedy’s mo­tion were deputy mayor Ches Ash and coun­cil­lors Ed Goff and Ge­orge Butt.

Ash rep­re­sented coun­cil on the hir­ing com­mit­tee, and in­sisted that coun­cil “ went through the nor­mal pro­ce­dure.”

The can­di­date, he said, “made us aware of the (out­side) short-term con­tract, and left it to us to de­cide.”

Ex­pand­ing role

The mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer is ex­pected to im­ple­ment prop­erty reg­u­la­tions and con­trol crowds in emer­gen­cies or at spe­cial events.

Re­cently, Kennedy said, coun­cil con­sid­ered ex­pand­ing the role to in­clude oc­cu­pa­tional health and safety, and is ex­plor­ing a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with the RCMP that would en­able en­force­ment of­fi­cers to give out park­ing tick­ets.

The job is a full-time po­si­tion, and in­cludes oc­ca­sional week­end and evening work.

Kennedy said his main concern is that the town could have of­fered the job to an equally qual­i­fied ap­pli­cant more in need of work.

“ The town has of­fered a job to a man who is draw­ing a pen­sion, and work­ing other jobs, when there are so many peo­ple in Car­bon­ear who are with­out work,” he said.

“ There are young peo­ple com­ing out of the school sys­tem and well-qual­i­fied peo­ple liv­ing in Car­bon­ear. As well, there are very wellqual­i­fied peo­ple work­ing out­side the prov­ince who are will­ing (to do the job) and will­ing to move home.”

Coun­cil­lors agreed the can­di­date was well-qual­i­fied for the job, but Kennedy sug­gested he was not “spe­cially qual­i­fied” be­yond other ap­pli­cants.

Ash agreed there were other qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants.

Town ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia Davis said late last week the suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cant will start work “as soon as pos­si­ble,” but she could not give an ex­act date un­til he of­fi­cially ac­cepts the town’s of­fer.

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