Spaniard’s Bay orders fire department review
A review of the Spaniard’s Bay Volunteer Fire Department is back on the table.
At the April 4 meeting, Deputy Mayor Paul Brazil gave notice he would rescind a motion from December that would’ve seen human resources firm Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette conduct an independent review of the department.
At the time, Brazil said the town had enough information to restructure the fire department and nothing would be gained from having the firm conduct the review.
That changed on May 18 as newly minted Coun. Tracy Smith moved that the town once again seek out an independent study into the department.
Reading from a prepared statement, Smith stated that should the town move ahead “at it’s earliest convenience … to select the appropriate group and ensure it takes place as soon as possible.”
Longtime Coun. Tony Dominix seconded the motion.
Prior to the motion being made, Coun. Brenda Seymour declared herself in conflict and removed herself from the room. Seymour is a volunteer firefighter.
It should be noted that when the previous motion to have a review was tabled, Seymour did not remove herself or declare a conflict.
There was little discussion around the table on the issue before the motion was passed unanimously.
During the vote on the motion, several residents in the audience stood to watch it proceed. Once it had passed, others nodded their heads in agree- ment with the decision.
The chairperson of the Concerned Citizens committee addressed council with some points concerning the nature of the review. Robert Lundrigan noted an independent firm should do the study with no connection to the town or any of its residents.
“It should be completed independently of council, group or individual at the centre of this circumstance,” said Lundrigan. “It should be completed with a reasonably established budget for the town given the nature of the investigation and be started within 30 days from today and be completed within a specific time frame.”
A petition was handed to Mayor Tony Menchions with some 750 signatures on it from residents who want to see the review completed.
After the meeting, Menchions spoke briefly with The Compass on council’s reversal of opinion.
He said the review is what the majority of the community wanted.
“That’s what we’re put here for,” said Menchions. “Let them do their investigation or review based on what’s put forward by the town.
“I think the review will give an overview of everything. I don’t think anyone will come out of this unscarred, but I think it will put to bed a lot of issues.”
The December motion was rescinded as a result of the new review.
Looking for compensation
A letter tabled at the meeting revealed that the former Spaniard’s Bay municipal enforcement officer Steve Smith.
Smith is looking to be compensated of the remainder of his one-year contract. He was terminated from his position on Jan. 19 after less than a month on the job. This goes along with his desire to maintain health and dental insurance for the remainder of the year, as well as any expenses he incurred while working for the town.
Spaniard’s Bay moved to seek legal advice on the matter before responding to the letter.
The Town of Spaniard’s Bay is again ordering a review of the town’s fire department.
From the left, Dalton Assembly navigator Gerald Ryan, Liam Ellis, Max Hopkins, Jenna Parsons and Kaitlyn Tobin.