Council suspends building rentals
Pursuing new arrangement to curtail recent ‘issues’ at Clarke’s Beach municipal building
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.
Clarke’s Beach citizen Wallace Reid is seen making a presentation to council in September 2012.