New en­ergy on Clarke’s Beach coun­cil

Mayor, Deputy Mayor re­flect on year of change

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Town of Clarke’s Beach has a dif­fer­ent feel about it th­ese days.

Gone is the coun­cil­lor in­fight­ing that be­came syn­ony­mous with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the year lead­ing up to the 2013 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion.

It has been re­placed with a coun­cil work­ing to­wards a common goal, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Betty Moore.

“We are to­gether for the town,” she re­cently told The Com­pass.

It has been just over a year since a record num­ber of vot­ers almost cleaned house in the lat­est round of mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions last Septem­ber. Gone was the town’s deputy mayor, along with the rest of coun­cil.

When the dust set­tled, Moore was the last rem­nant of a coun­cil Ma­clean’s Mag­a­zine pegged as “Canada’s most dys­func­tional” in 2012.

Sur­round­ing her were first time coun­cil­lors Wayne Snow, Crys­tal Brad­bury, Danielle Delaney, Kelly Ka­vanagh, Nor­man Hil­lier and George Janes.

“We have no prob­lem work­ing with each other,” said Moore.

Coun­cil flow

On Dec. 1, the first thing that greets you upon en­ter­ing the coun­cil cham­bers in Clarke’s Beach is the laid back at­ti­tude in the room.

Well, that’s the sec­ond thing you no­tice ac­tu­ally. The town re­ar­ranged the lay­out of the cham­bers shortly after the new coun­cil was elected.

Fac­ing the far wall, coun­cil­lors briskly work through an agenda that in­cludes ac­counts payable, res- iden­tial ap­pli­ca­tions and other pieces of gen­eral business. The meet­ing con­cludes in a tidy 45min­utes.

With Moore and Deputy Mayor Snow at the head of the room, coun­cil flows smoothly through the night. There is very lit­tle small talk as coun­cil­lors ex­ude a pro­fes­sion­al­ism that was, by all ac­counts, lack­ing within the last coun­cil — a group con­sumed by high pro­file dis­putes.

The days of per­sonal spats or agen­das ap­pears to be over.

“There is a dif­fer­ent en­ergy,” said Moore.

En­ergy ori­gin

The mayor feels this new en­ergy comes from the peo­ple she has around the ta­ble.

“We’re all pro­fes­sional said Moore.

peo­ple,”

They are a bit younger than the pre­vi­ous coun­cil, too. Delaney re­cently gave birth to her first child, while Brad­bury got mar­ried in Septem­ber.

A younger de­mo­graphic brings a dif­fer­ent view­point to the ta­ble. Moore ad­mits hav­ing reign in the youth­ful en­ergy some­times, but she con­sid­ers it to be a good thing to deal with.

“Ev­ery­one is very re­spect­ful of each other,” she said. “They’re in­ter­ested in see­ing the town adopted to all ages.”

New per­spec­tive

Run­ning Har­bour View Gro­cery in Clarke’s Beach, Snow sees a steady amount of con­stituents com­ing through the door, and for the most part, they’re all say­ing the same thing.

“They’re tick­led

to death,” he said. “They see work get­ting done.”

Snow was one of a record 26 can­di­dates to put their names on the bal­lot. He thinks the new coun­cil is ‘work­ing great.’

“Ev­ery­one has an equal view. We do what we can for the town.”

Snow be­lieves that is be­cause coun­cil­lors are “just try­ing to give back” to their com­mu­nity.

In an in­ter­est­ing move, Clarke’s Beach did away with sep­a­rate com­mit­tees. Now, ev­ery coun­cil­lor is in­volved with ev­ery com­mit­tee. This elim­i­nates mem­bers from pass­ing the buck to other coun­cil­lors and in­creases ac­count­abil­ity.

“We are all to­gether and we all meet on the is­sues,” said Snow.

“It is not just a cou­ple of peo­ple mak­ing the decision,” added Moore.

Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore (right) and Deputy Mayor Wayne Snow are a part of a coun­cil that is be­gin­ning to shed some of its neg­a­tive rep­u­ta­tion.

Pho­tos by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

Clarke’s Beach coun­cil mem­bers held their most re­cent pub­lic meet­ing on Dec. 1.

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