The peo­ple of Har­bour Grace de­serve some­thing

The Compass - - OPINION - Ni­cholas Mercer is a reporter/pho­tog­ra­pher with the Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Last week the prov­ince was treated to a smor­gas­bord of high pro­file news.

Treated might not be the right word for some of that news, but let’s use it any­way.

First, it was an­nounced the St. John’s IceCaps are likely des­tined for the hockey hot­bed of Thun­der Bay, On­tario.

That was fol­lowed shortly by news that caught ev­ery­one off guard, ex­cept for maybe those few in the know.

This was the res­ig­na­tion of Kathy Dun­derdale as the pre­mier of New­found­land and Labrador and the leader of the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives. It was quickly fol­lowed by the an­nounce­ment of for­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter Tom Mar­shall as the in­terim pre­mier.

It was fol­lowed by the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s Re­port. To say the least, it was a busy week in news.

Af­ter the past cou­ple of days it seems like Con­cep­tion Bay North told the rest of the prov­ince, “don’t worry boys, we’ll cover the rest of it.”

That’s when it came to light that the new fa­cil­i­ties man­ager at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace and the new chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer had ten­dered their res­ig­na­tions, and at the same time no less.

In short or­der, Har­bour Grace had lost two high pro­file, and very im­por­tant, of­fi­cials.

For out­siders, it just looks like Har­bour Grace do­ing what Har­bour Grace does best — dys­func­tion. But, look closer. The moves ap­pear to have gen­uinely stunned elected of­fi­cials in the com­mu­nity.

Stunned to the point where no one in a po­si­tion of au­thor­ity is talk­ing.

Why isn’t any­one talk­ing? The Com­pass told its read­ers it would pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion as it be­came avail­able, but there has been very lit­tle.

To be fair, there have been brief over­tures say­ing one side or the other are get­ting their thoughts to­gether, which is fine. But, there needs to be some­thing, any­thing.

The town is in dis­ar­ray. The sta­dium is cap­tain-less and the for­mer town man­ager has re­tired. It’s safe to call it a staffing cri­sis. So, where are the town’s elected of­fi­cials? In some­thing such as this, not of­fer­ing any ex­pla­na­tion, even a par­tial one, does noth­ing to help the sit­u­a­tion, or in­spire con­fi­dence among cit­i­zens.

The longer they wait, the fishier it looks. As sad as it is to say, it’s true. Noth­ing good comes of wait­ing. It forces the pub­lic to cast a sus­pi­cious eye over the sit­u­a­tion, which helps no one.

Imag­ine if Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood had hid in a bunker af­ter it was dis­cov­ered his town had paid for a par­cel of land twice? He could have lost the elec­tion, with vot­ers ques­tion­ing his lead­er­ship abil­i­ties in a time of un­cer­tainty.

But, he didn’t. Wood got out in front of the sit­u­a­tion and laid ev­ery­thing out. It’s the tem­plate that should be fol­lowed here. It is pos­si­ble to see why those who re­signed have yet to broach the sub­ject pub­licly. Per­haps they are still stung by the de­ci­sion they made. And, that is fine. Af­ter all, they are pri­vate cit­i­zens.

Hav­ing to re­sign from a new job is tough. In the con­ver­sa­tions had with both in­di­vid­u­als, it ap­peared both were en­thu­si­as­tic to im­ple­ment their ideas. It’s a shame to see them go, it re­ally is. Maybe, by the time this is read, both sides will have cleared the air. We’ll see. Ei­ther way, the res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity de­serve some­thing.

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