Spa­niard’s Bay or­ders fire depart­ment re­view

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER COL­UMN PUBLIC SPEAK­ING nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

The Town of Spa­niard’s Bay is again or­der­ing a re­view of the town’s fire depart­ment.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

From the left, Dal­ton Assem­bly nav­i­ga­tor Gerald Ryan, Liam El­lis, Max Hop­kins, Jenna Parsons and Kait­lyn Tobin.

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