Coun­cil sus­pends build­ing rentals

Pur­su­ing new ar­range­ment to cur­tail re­cent ‘is­sues’ at Clarke’s Beach mu­nic­i­pal build­ing

The Compass - - OPINION - BY TERRY ROBERTS THE COM­PASS

The Clarke’s Beach town coun­cil has tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended the prac­tice of rent­ing out the hall in the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing, cit­ing “is­sues of late” that have raised con­cerns among the town’s elected lead­ers.

And when the build­ing is once again avail­able to the pub­lic, it’s likely that only per­ma­nent res­i­dents of the town will be granted per­mis­sion to sign the ren­tal agree­ment, and they must ac­cept full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the build­ing and the be­hav­iour of those in at­ten­dance.

The mat­ter came up for dis­cus­sion at the March 4 reg­u­lar meet­ing of coun­cil.

Coun. Roland An­drews said there have been times in re­cent months when “we nearly had to call the law to straighten things out.”

He did not of­fer de­tails, but it’s clearly se­ri­ous enough for coun­cil to re-eval­u­ate the prac­tice.

Though no for­mal de­ci­sions were made last week, coun­cil ap­pears to be lean­ing to­ward em­pha­siz­ing “fam­ily func­tions” at the build­ing, in­creas­ing the ren­tal rate to $100 per event, and hav­ing events con­clude by 11 p.m.

As for al­co­hol, it’s be­ing sug­gested that it can be con­sumed dur­ing pri­vate func­tions un­der strict con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a re­quire­ment that there be ab­so­lutely no sale of al­co­hol on the premises.

It was em­pha­sized that pre­vi­ously booked rentals will be hon­oured.

One of the chal­lenges with the rentals is over­sight. The build­ing is of­ten left in an un­clean con­di­tion, An­drews noted. What’s more, Deputy Mayor Kevin Hussey has been over­see­ing rentals, but has

Kevin Hussey is the deputy mayor of the Town of Clarke’s Beach.

in­di­cated he will dis­con­tinue this.

Coun­cil has made over­tures to the recre­ation and her­itage com­mit­tees to see if there might be an in­ter­est in tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the rentals, in ex­change for a per­cent­age of the ren­tal fee.

Mayor Betty Moore said there had been no re­sponse from the her­itage com­mit­tee, and the recre­ation com­mit­tee was seek­ing more in­for­ma­tion.

As such, coun­cil agreed to de­fer the is­sue un­til a fu­ture meet­ing.

Cit­i­zen ‘very up­set’

Mean­while, a let­ter from cit­i­zen Wal­lace Reid, an out­spo­ken critic of coun­cil, con­cern­ing an in­ci­dent at a Fe­bru­ary pub­lic meet­ing was de­ferred, but not be­fore some dis­cus­sion about whether Reid was owed an apol­ogy.

In his let­ter, Reid said he was “very up­set” by com­ments di­rected his way by Deputy Mayor Kevin Hussey dur­ing the meet­ing.

Reid was in the pub­lic gallery dur­ing the meet­ing, and al­leges the fol­low­ing:

“Af­ter one of the coun­cil mem­bers spoke, Deputy Mayor Hussey spoke with­out ad­dress­ing the mayor. He said, ‘ Wal­lace, what is your prob­lem? Why are you star­ing at me?’”

Reid re­torted that he was not star­ing at Hussey, and was sim­ply tak­ing in the pro­ceed­ings.

“Do res­i­dents have to be treated like that when they go to a coun­cil meet­ing? Do they have to be blind­folded when they walk into the coun­cil cham­ber?” Reid asked in his let­ter.

Reid asked that “coun­cil do some­thing to stop (Hussey’s) ac­tions.”

Hussey was not present at last week’s meet­ing, but Coun. An­drews de­scribed the in­ci­dent as “un­for­tu­nate,” and asked whether coun­cil should “send a let­ter of apol­ogy” to Reid.

Coun. El­don Snow dis­agreed, say­ing the the is­sue was be­tween Hussey and Reid.

“It has noth­ing to do with the rest of us,” said Snow.

In the end, coun­cil agreed to de­fer the mat­ter, since Hussey wasn’t in at­ten­dance to have his say on the mat­ter.

ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file pho­tos by Terry Roberts

Clarke’s Beach cit­i­zen Wal­lace Reid is seen mak­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil in Septem­ber 2012.

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