For­mer coun­cil­lor de­fends his rep­u­ta­tion


Dear edi­tor,

This is in re­sponse to an ar­ti­cle head­lined “Can­di­date ac­claimed in South River,” which ap­peared in the July 12 edi­tion of The Com­pass.

I would like to take is­sue with the fol­low­ing state­ment, which was at­trib­uted to Mayor Arthur Pet­ten: “Ac­cord­ing to Mayor Pet­ten, Stephan missed seven out of 13 coun­cil meet­ings.”

This is a state­ment made com­pletely out of con­text by Mayor Pet­ten. As such, this state­ment de­fames my char­ac­ter and rep­u­ta­tion as a con­sci­en­tious mem­ber of the South River town coun­cil.

Stated in proper con­text: over a two-year pe­riod I missed nine of 24 meet­ings, three of which were un­der a pre-ap­proved leave of ab­sence. Plus, there were a num­ber of com­mit­tee meet­ings that I at­tended dur­ing this pe­riod, of which I was ei­ther a mem­ber or chair­man.

It ap­pears that con­trol over the coun­cil and the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the town are now di­rectly un­der the in­flu­ence of the mayor. It is gen­er­ally felt that as a di­rect re­sult of his treat­ment of the for­mer town man­ager/clerk, this per­son ac­cepted em­ploy­ment else­where; and most re­cently, he has now se­cured the ma­jor­ity vote in­flu­ence on coun­cil with the ar­rival of his wife as the new coun­cil­lor.

The res­i­dents of the Town of South River need to know that their town is not be­ing ef­fi­ciently or ef­fec­tively man­aged un­der the lead­er­ship of the cur­rent mayor. As one ex­am­ple, this year the town has ne­glected to hire a main­te­nance per­son or stu­dents for the an­nual main­te­nance and clean-up tasks. Larry Stephan

Souh River

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