Town to select new mayor on Feb. 5
She declined an interview when contacted on Friday, but said her resignation is “not just the pay issue.”
A council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5, and a new mayor is expected to be appointed at that time. There’s also an attempt behind the scenes to try and resolve the dispute, The Compass has learned.
Laracy did not address the issue when contacted by The Compass, but Dawe said he was disappointed the pay raise was rejected.
He said council employees have not seen an increase in two years, and the cost of living is steadily going up.
“I stood up for the employees to try to give them a raise. You can’t have people working for nothing,” Dawe stated.
“I believe they deserved a small increase.”
Town in ‘hard shape’
According to the town’s 2013 municipal operating budget, which was approved last month, the town has budgeted just over $31,000 for salaries this year, and just over $69,000 for general administration. That’s on an overall budget of $555,760.
Councillors agreed to reduce the property tax rate from 9.5 to 7.5 mills in order to offset the steep increase in the assessed value of properties in the town. Despite this, the town’s revenues will increase by about 5.5 per cent this year, or roughly $33,000.
Unexpected expenses for vehicle maintenance — $15,000 to replace the transmission in the garbage truck, for example — and issues with the water and sewer system in 2012 meant the town was unable to make the final $52,000 payment on its longterm debt in December. That expense is being carried over into 2013.
In light of all this, Coun. Connolly defended the decision to reject the raise, saying the town is in “hard shape,” and there was “no money last month to pay the bills.”
He added that the backhoe is also out of commission, requiring some $3,500 in repairs.
Coun. Furey said he was more irritated by the lack of discussion than the proposed pay increases.
“It was too rushed,” Furey said,
Cupids Deputy Mayor Ross Dawe (left) is pictured here with Ivy King, town clerk.
“I stood up for the employees to try to give them a raise. You can’t have people working for
nothing. I believe they deserved a small increase.” — Ross Dawe, deputy mayor,
Town of Cupids
adding he wanted to discuss ways of ensuring the council office remains open year-round, even when the town clerk is on holidays.
“Before we start passing out raises, we should look at the possibility of hiring somebody for three or four weeks to keep the town open,” he said.
Furey said King is “good at her job,” and was “hasty” in her decision to leave.
“Things could have been handled differently,” Furey noted.
Laracy, meanwhile, is a municipal employee with the neighbouring Town of Clarke’s Beach. He was elected to the Cupids town council during a 2008 byelection, and was re-elected in the 2009 municipal general election.
There’s less than eight months remaining in council’s four-year
COUPLE ESCAPES FIRE
term, and when asked why he couldn’t hang on until his mandate expired, Laracy repeated, “If I don’t have the time, it’s better to move aside and give someone else a chance.”
When asked if he would seek the job, Dawe said he was “very doubtful,” and that he likely wouldn’t get the support of a majority of his colleagues if he did.
“Knowing the support that I had as head of the finance committee … that lack of support, it’s hard to continue with that in the mayor’s chair.”
When asked who might be the next mayor, Dawe replied: “Maybe some of these councillors that seem to have a lot of answers that didn’t make too much sense to me will take it on.”
Dawe was also non-committal when asked whether he will seek reelection in September.
“It takes up a lot of your time, and I had a bout with cancer last fall. I will have to seriously look at my health. When you’re up in your 60s, you have to consider how much time to devote to public causes. Retirement goes very quickly,” he said.
But Dawe said the town council has been very effective, and managed to fully capitalize on the Cupids 400 celebrations held in 2010.
“It was the biggest celebration any town of our size ever had in the province,” he said. “It was very successful and we had a lot of improvements made in the town.”