For­mer sta­dium com­mit­tee mem­ber an­gry with Har­bour Grace coun­cil

Says de­ci­sion to re­place en­tire group amounts to ‘a kick in the face’

The Compass - - News - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

A mem­ber of the for­mer sta­dium com­mit­tee in Har­bour Grace is lash­ing out at the town coun­cil for de­cid­ing ear­lier this year to re­place it.

Coun. Kathy Tet­ford read Pamela Whe­lan’s let­ter towards the end of the March 8 coun­cil meet­ing, fol­low­ing some dis­cus­sion about whether it was per­mis­si­ble for the coun­cil­lor to read it. The let­ter had not been re­ceived prior to the typ­i­cal dead­line for get­ting onto the agenda.

In a let­ter dated March 6, Whe­lan iden­ti­fied her­self as a valu­able con­trib­u­tor to the town who served on many town com­mit­tees. Last year, she re­sponded to a re­quest seek­ing res­i­dents will­ing to serve on a com­mit­tee for the new Danny Cleary Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. She said six meet­ings took place be­fore the com­mit­tee learned through in­for­mal chan­nels it was be­ing re­placed.

“In fact, I voted for you, the cur­rent coun­cil, on the premise that the last coun­cil com­monly had far too many of their friends on com­mit­tees in or­der to con­trol what went on in these types of meet­ings. Ironic, isn’t it?”

Whe­lan was hurt and dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion to re­place the com­mit­tee, feel­ing it showed the town did not value her time.

“It’s a kick in the face. It says to me, ‘ Thanks for com­ing out, but we don’t need you any­more’ … I might be loud. I might be opin­ion­ated. I might not agree with you. How­ever, I have a valu­able set of skills to of­fer. This town does not ex­actly have a huge vol­un­teer base. It’s cer­tainly not big enough to turn peo­ple away.”

She also ad­vised the town it doesn’t need to bother send­ing a thank-you note, as had been dis­cussed at a pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ing.

“I will vote this fall and I will cam­paign against those of you who have or­ches­trated this co­nun­drum. A $20-mil­lion fa­cil­ity will need more cre­ative and ar­tic­u­late minds to make it work. I would sug­gest you don’t turn its sup­port­ers away.”

Coun. Hayward Blake, af­ter Tet­ford fin­ished read­ing the let­ter, com­mented on what he per­ceived to be a fail­ing of the past com­mit­tee.

“Com­mit­tees of coun­cil should be re­port­ing back to coun­cil, as we saw tonight (and) as we’ve seen with the Har­bour Grace Her­itage and Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee … There was never, ever a re­port that had come back from (the for­mer sta­dium) com­mit­tee,” he said, not­ing it did not make any re­quests of coun­cil or pro­vide meet­ing min­utes. “So as some­one who sat around this ta­ble, one can see it as a non­func­tion­ing com­mit­tee.”

Town CAO Michael Sac­cary said he had not sent any thankyou notes as of the date of that coun­cil meet­ing be­cause he could not ob­tain a list of mem­bers for the for­mer com­mit­tee, de­spite ask­ing mul­ti­ple peo­ple. Coun. Gor­don Stone also dis­puted an as­ser­tion in the let­ter that this would be the third com­mit­tee to look af­ter the sta­dium un­der the term of the cur­rent coun­cil.

“This is not the third com­mit­tee — this is the sec­ond one,” he said.

Tet­ford was crit­i­cal of the move to dis­solve the orig­i­nal com­mit­tee, con­tend­ing it should in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tion from users groups like the mi­nor hockey as­so­ci­a­tion and lo­cal fig­ure skat­ing club.

The new com­mit­tee met for the first time on Tues­day, March 7. Tracy Shute and Joy Sparkes are non-coun­cil mem­bers, and were joined for the first meet­ing by Stone, Coun. Tony McCarthy and Sac­cary. Ac­cord­ing to Stone, it will sup­port sta­dium ad­min­is­tra­tion by of­fer­ing ideas and re­port back to coun­cil. Meet­ings will take place ev­ery sec­ond Mon­day.


The new com­mit­tee tasked to help with ad­min­is­tra­tive mat­ters at the Danny Cleary Com­mu­nity Cen­tre is un­der fire from a for­mer mem­ber of the now-de­funct com­mit­tee it re­placed.

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