A new chapter in Clarke’s Beach
Council receives applause following public meeting
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.”
Mayor Betty Moore.