Spa­niard’s Bay Con­tro­versy

Lewis Shep­pard at cen­ter of the is­sue

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

A re­cent Spa­niard’s Bay coun­cil meet­ing saw some com­mo­tion as for­mer coun­cil­lor Lewis Shep­pard’s seat was va­cant, fol­low­ing some mis­un­der­stand­ings at a pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ing. The Com­pass spoke with those in­volved to get the de­tails of the story.

One of five coun­cil­lor seats was va­cant dur­ing a re­cent town coun­cil meet­ing in Spa­niard’s Bay.

Dur­ing a town coun­cil meet­ing held on Tues­day night, July 4, Lewis Shep­pard sat among fam­ily and friends in the crowd, rather than his usual seat among coun­cil mem­bers.

As the night’s meet­ing be­gan, the empty seat was not men­tioned un­til Coun. Tracy Smith brought for­ward a ques­tion, ask­ing if coun­cil was go­ing to ad­dress Shep­pard’s va­cant seat.

It was then that Mayor Tony Men­chions noted that the town had re­ceived a let­ter from Lewis Shep­pard fol­low­ing the town’s de­ci­sion to va­cate his seat, as per Sec­tion 201(1)(h) of the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act, 1999.

Shep­pard’s let­ter to the town states that he wishes to ap­peal this de­ci­sion.

The de­ci­sion from the town came af­ter a spe­cial meet­ing held on June 21, where coun­cil dis­cussed a sit­u­a­tion on Val­ley Road in­volv­ing flood­ing of res­i­dents’ prop­er­ties caused by a new sub­di­vi­sion in the area.

Dur­ing the July 4 meet­ing, Men­chions read aloud the let­ter from the town ad­dressed to Shep­pard, who he re­ferred to as “for­mer coun­cil­lor Shep­pard.”

In the let­ter, it is stated that Shep­pard did not vote on a mo­tion that re­quired a vote from all coun­cil­lors in at­ten­dance dur­ing the spe­cial meet­ing held on June 21. The let­ter goes on to in­form Shep­pard that his seat on coun­cil had been va­cated, as per sec­tion 206 of the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act, 1999.

The mo­tion in ques­tion was for the engi­neer­ing com­pany in­volved in the Val­ley Road sub­di­vi­sion to re­turn and ex­plain the find­ings of their re­port.

Fol­low­ing the let­ter be­ing read to the pub­lic, Shep­pard piped up from the crowd, re­quest­ing his let­ter to coun­cil be read as well, in hopes that the pub­lic could hear both sides of the story.

Coun­cil, how­ever, ul­ti­mately ruled that they would pre­fer if the let­ter was not read aloud and in­stead re­ferred to le­gal coun­sel for re­view. Men­chions added that he would rather have all bases cov­ered be­fore tak­ing any fur­ther steps, though he had no is­sue with Shep­pard mak­ing the let­ter pub­lic if he wished to do so.

At the end of Tues­day’s meet­ing, Shep­pard piped up again, re­quest­ing coun­cil and res­i­dents to stay in the cham­bers a while longer, so that any ques­tions re­gard­ing the mat­ter could be ad­dressed.

At this point, Shep­pard ques­tioned Coun. Brenda Sey­mour’s use of con­flict of in­ter­est dur­ing the meet­ing, to which Sey­mour did not re­spond, promptly leav­ing the coun­cil cham­bers. At this point, the coun­cil meet­ing had al­ready been ad­journed.

Deb­bie Shep­pard, Lewis Shep­pard’s daugh­ter, went on to read Lewis’ let­ter to res­i­dents.

In Lewis’ let­ter, he states that Coun. Tony Do­minix and Coun. Sey­mour took over dis­cus­sion dur­ing the spe­cial meet­ing, with Do­minix mak­ing a mo­tion be­fore giv­ing other coun­cil­lors in at­ten­dance a chance to speak on the mat­ter.

“I asked why I couldn’t have my chance to “dis­cuss” it and then Coun­cil­lor Do­minix stated I couldn’t dis­cuss this un­til the mo­tion was sec­onded, and a mo­tion could only be dis­cussed af­ter the mo­tion has been sec­onded,” Lewis stated in his let­ter.

The let­ter goes on to state that Coun. Sey­mour sec­onded Coun. Do­minix’s mo­tion as Lewis was leav­ing his chair.

“It was gen­er­ally agreed and ac­cepted that we would dis­cuss this mat­ter be­fore a mo­tion was made and sec­onded,” the let­ter goes on to say.

Lewis says he felt as though he did not have the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss the mat­ter in ques­tion, and there­fore could not prop­erly vote on it.

Do­minix also left the cham­bers af­ter his own use of con­flict of in­ter­est was put into ques­tion by the pub­lic.

Lewis de­clined to com­ment fur­ther on the mat­ter, telling The Com­pass that there were le­gal in­tri­ca­cies he wished to re­view be­fore mak­ing any state­ments.

Lewis did add, how­ever, that by mak­ing his own let­ter pub­lic, he hoped it would clear up any con­fu­sion on the mat­ter as much as pos­si­ble.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Lewis Shep­pard is ap­peal­ing coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to va­cate his seat.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.