Harbour Grace scraps private council meetings
Coun. Kathy Tetford introduced a motion last week to discontinue the 90-minute, closed-door council meeting that precedes every public council meeting, arguing it would improve both the councils’ efficiency and communication with the public.
“I find that there are topics that are talked about in privilege that we feel are brought forward for the public, and then it’s not brought forward to public,” explained Tetford.
“There’s correspondence that gets lost on the wayside, and things are all up in arms, and the staff don’t know where there to, and I’d like to make that motion that we discontinue that practice and all discussions take place in a public forum.”
The motion was passed unanimously.
A motion passed at the Jan. 10 council meeting to form a new stadium committee is continu- ing to cause controversy.
The committee, which was to consist of two council members and two community members, would work alongside staff at the Danny Cleary Community Centre.
The creation of this committee would render the current stadium committee null and void, and Tetford contends this is unfair to the current committee.
“It’s an awful way for this council to treat volunteers,” said Tetford during last Wednesday’s council meeting.
“I don’t like the way things were done at the last meeting... throwing out one committee and setting up another... We’re showing a set of volunteers the front door without properly talking with them or having a meeting, or letting them know our plans have changed ... I just think it’s disgraceful... and I just hope that those who are involved know that I’m not a part of it.”
Tetford had voted against forming the committee at the Jan. 10 meeting.
“I realized when I made the motion, that the other (committee) had to go,” replied Coun. Gordon Stone.
Coun. Stone suggested it would be appropriate to write thank you notes to members of the current committee, which will be discontinued when the new committee comes into effect.
There’s correspondence that gets lost on the wayside, and things are all up in arms, and the staff don’t know where there to, and I’d like to make that motion that we discontinue that practice and all discussions take place in a public forum. — Coun. Kathy Tetford
Stadium management and purchase
The need to fill the role of stadium manager following Mike Adam’s resignation was also ad- dressed at the meeting.
Deputy Mayor and stadium liaison Sonia Williams said the human resources committee would review the 40 applications received, and will begin the process of interviews shortly thereafter.
$20K grant for seniors
Council also discussed a recent grant of $20,000 from the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development.
Natalie Austin, Economic Development Officer for the Town of Harbour Grace, told The Compass that $10,000 will go towards a community garden, $5,000 will support a healthy living education programming, and the remaining $5,000 will aid a healthy eating programming.
Harbour Grace council members voted unanimously at their last meeting to put an end to the practice of holding private meetings prior to public council meetings.