Mayoral candidate responds to criticism
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.