A new chap­ter in Clarke’s Beach

Coun­cil re­ceives ap­plause fol­low­ing pub­lic meet­ing

The Compass - - NEWS - BY TERRY ROBERTS ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It’s very un­usual for mem­bers of a mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil to re­ceive ap­plause fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of a reg­u­lar pub­lic meet­ing.

But that’s ex­actly what hap­pened in Clarke’s Beach on Mon­day, Nov. 4 af­ter Mayor Betty Moore tapped her gavel and ad­journed the sec­ond meet­ing of the new-look town coun­cil.

Some 20 peo­ple in the pub­lic gallery broke into ap­plause, with one woman stat­ing: “It’s so peace­ful. I don’t want to leave.”

The show of sup­port fol­lowed a low-key, smoothly run meet­ing that was held in an at­mos­phere of re­spect and deco­rum.

As mem­bers of the gallery filed out of the coun­cil cham­bers, another woman was heard say­ing, “That’s the way it should be.”

The shine is still new on this town coun­cil, six of whom are new­com­ers to elected pol­i­tics. They in­clude Deputy Mayor Wayne Snow, and coun­cil­lors Crys­tal Brett, Danielle De­laney, Nor­man Hillier, Ge­orge Janes and Kelly Ka­vanagh.

Mayor Moore was the only mem­ber of the pre­vi­ous coun­cil to sur­vive the Sept. 24 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, with five other in­cum­bents go­ing down to de­feat in a stag­ger­ing field of 25 can­di­dates.

The record turnout of can­di­dates and voter-driven house-clean­ing fol­lowed years of bick­er­ing and high pro­file dis­putes, with Mayor Moore largely iso­lated by most other mem­bers of coun­cil, all of whom were male. The sit­u­a­tion cli­maxed last year, with a Ma­clean’s mag­a­zine ar­ti­cle de­scrib­ing Clarke’s Beach as Canada’s most dys­func­tional mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

It set the stage for one of the most-watched elec­tions in the prov­ince, with a record turnout of vot­ers.

In the end, Mayor Moore re­ceived a strong man­date by fin­ish­ing a close sec­ond to Snow, her nephew, on the bal­lot.

Res­i­dents are hop­ing that the neg­a­tive me­dia spot­light di­rected on this quaint, pic­turesque and grow­ing Con­cep­tion Bay North town is a thing of the past. And if this week’s meet­ing is any in­di­ca­tion, they may get their wish, though some in the gallery joked that it’s only early into their four-year man­date.

As for this week’s agenda, it was busi­ness-as-usual, high­lighted by coun­cil’s ap­proval to seek cap­i­tal works fund­ing of some $800,000 to carry out another phase of wa­ter and sewer up­grades on Wil­sonville Road, a sec­tion of Glam Road, and An­thony’s Road. If ap­proved, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment will pay 90 per cent, with the town pick­ing up the re­main­der.

Coun­cil also ap­proved a $500 con­tri­bu­tion to the Bay Arena As­so­ci­a­tion, which op­er­ates the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts on be­half of town’s in the re­gion.

The only item that even came close to gen­er­at­ing any se­ri­ous de­bate was a re­quest for a dona­tion to this year’s Poppy Cam­paign from the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion.

In the past, coun­cil has ap­proved the “stan­dard” dona­tion to such re­quests of $25. Coun. Janes, an of­fi­cer in the Cana­dian Forces, de­scribed this amount as a “pit­tance,” con­sid­er­ing that fund­ing to the cam­paign supports pro­grams that ben­e­fit mil­i­tary vet­er­ans.

Coun­cil agreed to main­tain the $25 dona­tion for this year, but com­mit­ted to dis­cussing the is­sue dur­ing up­com­ing bud­get talks.

Mean­while, Mayor Moore made note of the fact that the locks on all town build­ings have been changed, and new keys have been is­sued. She de­scribed this mea­sure as “stan­dard.”

Pho­tos by Terry Roberts/The Com­pass

Mayor Betty Moore.

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