May­oral can­di­date re­sponds to crit­i­cism

The Compass - - OPINION - Edi­tor’s note: The author of this let­ter, Wayne Smith, is a can­di­date for mayor in the Sept. 24 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion in Spa­niard’s Bay. Brenda Sey­mour is also a chal­lenger for this post. — J. Wayne Smith is a may­oral can­di­date in Spa­niard’s Bay.

Dear Edi­tor,

I re­fer to your ar­ti­cle in the Sept. 10 print edi­tion of The Com­pass and the ar­ti­cle “A Sey­mour-Smith Show­down in Spa­niard’s Bay.”

Mrs. Sey­mour stated that my com­ments of Aug. 27 in your pa­per prompted her to run for mayor.

Mrs. Sey­mour was well aware of my views on re­gion­al­iza­tion long be­fore this is­sue of The Com­pass was pub­lished, as were the rest of the coun­cil mem­bers. As I stated to the re­porter, it is not an elec­tion plat­form of mine, nor will it ever be.

There are many rea­sons why I am an ad­vo­cate of re­gional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, not the least of which is the fact that larger mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties re­ceive the Lion’s share of govern­ment fund­ing. Case in point is that Con­cep­tion Bay South re­ceives ma­jor fund­ing ev­ery year and is never left out of the fund­ing pool.

Her ar­gu­ment about “loss of iden­tity” is also wrong. Ask any­one who lives in Til­ton, Co­ley’s Point or Shearstown where they are from and you know what their an­swer will be.

With re­gards to my com­ments on cap­i­tal fund­ing, I was not be­ing crit­i­cal of govern­ment’s 90/10 pol­icy, but giv­ing my opin­ion that in this pe­riod of re­straint, govern­ment could help more com­mu­ni­ties if their 90/10 bur­den was re­duced. I think I’m safe in say­ing that there is not an elected mayor or coun­cil­lor that would not be happy to re­ceive 60 or 70 per cent or some­thing as op­posed to 90 per cent of noth­ing.

She also says my think­ing is “off the wall.” If, by that, she means I think “out­side the box,” then she is absolutely right. There’s al­ways a bet­ter way of do­ing things and when cir­cum­stances change, as in the provin­cial govern­ment’s fi­nan­cial po­si­tion, so must the poli­cies of govern­ment change.

I agree with her as­ser­tion that coun­cils should be open and ac­count­able. Reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ings are open to the pub­lic and the min­utes are pub­lished on­line and are also avail­able at the town hall along with the town’s fi­nan­cial state­ments. I will ad­mit that over the past four years we, as a coun­cil, had to have many priv­i­leged meet­ings deal­ing with the pro­posed Til­ton de­vel­op­ment. Any dis­cus­sions were sub­se­quently rat­i­fied and pub­lished in the next reg­u­lar meet­ing’s min­utes.

I’m not re­ally sure what Mrs. Sey­mour meant when she stated, “what goes on up there.” I will re­mind Mrs. Sey­mour that for the past four years, she was a part of “what goes on up there.” I per­son­ally found the last four years on coun­cil en­joy­able, and very pro­duc­tive and was not aware of any­thing un­to­ward hap­pen­ing — just a group of hon­est, hard-work­ing peo­ple ded­i­cated to the bet­ter­ment of their com­mu­nity.

In con­clu­sion, the pur­pose of this let­ter is to clar­ify some items that were pub­lished. Mrs. Sey­mour has ev­ery right to cam­paign any way she sees fit and I wish her well.

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