Ques­tions re­main for Cupids coun­cil

Meet­ing sched­uled for Tues­day night fails to ma­te­ri­al­ize

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON CUPIDS ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

An at­tempt last week to hold the first town coun­cil meet­ing in Cupids since the re­cent res­ig­na­tion of its mayor failed. Fol­low­ing the ap­point­ment of two new coun­cil mem­bers, it looks like the pro­vin­cial government may need to ap­point ad­di­tion coun­cil­lors to give the mu­nic­i­pal­ity a full group un­til the next gen­eral elec­tion this fall.

With the Town of Cupids strug­gling to get enough coun­cil mem­bers in a room to­gether for meet­ings, the pro­vin­cial government may find it­self need­ing to ap­point more coun­cil­lors.

Deputy Mayor Gor­don Power was set to chair a meet­ing last Tues­day, with re­cently ap­pointed coun­cil mem­bers Joanne Wells and Rod De­laney also in at­ten­dance. But Mike Power and Kevin Con­nolly, two elected coun­cil­lors, failed to show up. Both cited health is­sues when con­tacted by The Com­pass the next morn­ing about their ab­sence.

Power told The Com­pass he would con­tact Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and rec­om­mend the ap­point­ment of Alice Power and Dou­glas Furey to coun­cil. They were can­di­dates in a by­elec­tion last June won by Fran­cis Walsh. Walsh has since re­signed.

“Just push­ing ahead for the town to get some things done,” the deputy mayor said when asked about the ben­e­fit of get­ting two more coun­cil­lors. “You’ve got ex­tra peo­ple to rely on to go on com­mit­tees. Right now, the com­mit­tees are not full. We don’t have the peo­ple.”

In a state­ment re­leased to The Com­pass last Thurs­day, Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs con­firmed it was con­sid­er­ing that op­tion.

While an official meet­ing did not go ahead, the two new coun­cil mem­bers wel­comed ques­tions from the 20-or-so peo­ple in at­ten­dance. De­laney and Wells were ap­pointed to coun­cil fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tions of Walsh and former mayor Chris­tine Burry. In all, seven have re­signed since 2013.

It was at this point that Alice Power ques­tioned the fair­ness of ap­point­ing Wells and De­laney. She could not un­der­stand why her­self and Furey, two peo­ple who pre­vi­ously of­fered to serve the town, were not con­sid­ered.

De­laney and Wells, who are a cou­ple, both said they didn’t know how Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs got their names. Wells said her only goal is to help the town get through the next six months prior to the gen­eral elec­tion. She does not plan to run in that elec­tion. De­laney said he’s un­de­cided at this point.

Mike Power and Kevin Con­nolly both be­lieve bring­ing the two failed can­di­dates into the

fold is the proper thing to do at this stage, though Con­nolly feels a by­elec­tion should have been held.

“I think the peo­ple of the town should have to vote,” he said Wed­nes­day. “And that’s the right way to do it.”

“I don’t know how they came

up with these two peo­ple,” Mike Power said, adding that while it’s not un­heard of for peo­ple to elect a mar­ried cou­ple, he was puz­zled to see De­laney and Wells get ap­pointed to­gether.

Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs told The Com­pass depart­ment of­fi­cials worked with lo­cal MHA Betty Pars­ley to iden­tify po­ten­tial ap­pointees. Her of­fice pro­vided three names to government, and the depart­ment de­ter­mined two of those po­ten­tial can­di­dates were both in­ter­ested and el­i­gi­ble to serve on Cupids coun­cil.

Mov­ing for­ward

Ac­cord­ing to the deputy mayor, the in­abil­ity of coun­cil to hold meet­ings has not neg­a­tively im­pacted the town so far, but if the sit­u­a­tion continues, there could be trou­ble.

“It’s only been re­ally a month, and we’ve con­tin­ued on, paid our bills, did what we had to do, so we’re sit­ting good,” said Gor­don Power, who added he will not be run­ning in the fall elec­tion. “But it will hurt us in prob­a­bly the next month or later on this month. You’ve got to have (meet­ings).”

Mike Power, who does in­tend to seek re­elec­tion in the fall, be­lieves the cur­rent coun­cil can sur­vive the next six months. So does Con­nolly, who couldn’t con­firm whether he’ll run again in 2017, though he hopes for a big slate of can­di­dates, in­clud­ing younger res­i­dents.

“I’d love to see young peo­ple run­ning and make the town liv­able and ev­ery­thing like that and make things move in the town like recre­ation,” he said. “Every­body is leav­ing in Cupids. For what rea­son? Be­cause it’s get­ting a bad name out there with coun­cil.”

As for the present sit­u­a­tion, Con­nolly sees the need for im­proved com­mu­ni­ca­tion within coun­cil.

“When you don’t com­mu­ni­cate with each other as a coun­cil, then it gets up­set­ting within the coun­cil,” he said, “and the coun­cil doesn’t work to­gether. That’s wrong.”

The Com­pass has con­tacted the Depart­ment of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment for fur­ther com­ment on the sit­u­a­tion in Cupids and will up­date this story once a re­sponse is re­ceived.

A date for the next Cupids coun­cil meet­ing has not been set.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

A Cupids coun­cil meet­ing sched­uled for Tues­day night did not go ahead. Pic­tured, from the left is Coun. Joanne Wells, Deputy Mayor Gor­don Power, town clerk Ivy King and Coun. Rod De­laney.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Cupids Deputy Mayor Gor­don King said he in­tends to con­tact Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs to rec­om­mend the names of two res­i­dents who ran for coun­cil in a by­elec­tion last year.

FILE PHOTO

Coun. Mike Power.

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