Har­bour Grace Her­itage and Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee seeks in­cor­po­ra­tion

Coun­cil wor­ries about use of town re­sources

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

HAR­BOUR GRACE, NL — The Her­itage and Re­de­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee in Har­bour Grace is ask­ing the town to re­con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity of incorporating com­mit­tees of coun­cil.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing held on Mon­day night, Nov. 27, com­mit­tee mem­ber Don Reg­u­lar opened the meet­ing with a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil mem­bers. Dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion, Reg­u­lar thanked them and the pre­vi­ous coun­cil for their sup­port and at­tempted to shed some light on the com­mit­tee’s work in re­cent years.

“Our com­mit­tee was formed about two years ago, and were formed with the un­der­stand­ing that we were to as­sist the town of Har­bour Grace, and were formed as an arm of coun­cil – a sub-com­mit­tee,” said Reg­u­lar. “We were asked to see what kinds of things we could do to help, and part of that was to find an in­ven­tory of what we have – and what we don’t have – in our com­mu­nity.”

Reg­u­lar went on to de­tail some of the projects the com­mit­tee, which cur­rently con­sists of 12 peo­ple, had been in­volved in re­cently, as per the min­utes of their own meet­ings. These ef­forts in­cluded in­volve­ment in the 2016 Wooden Boat Con­fer­ence, which was held in Har­bour Grace, the re­cent Ir­ish-New­found­land Con­nec­tion, and the Pi­rates to Pi­lots Fes­ti­val as well as a new brand­ing idea – the open gates con­cept, which high­lights the many iron gates found through­out the com­mu­nity.

Reg­u­lar’s pre­sen­ta­tion was not just to show­case the re­cent ef­forts of the com­mit­tee, how­ever. He went on to bring up the topic of in­cor­po­ra­tion for the com­mit­tee – a sub­ject that had been brought forth in the past as well.

“When the com­mit­tee was formed, we never en­vi­sioned in­cor­po­ra­tion, but it’s been en­cour­aged upon us on many oc­ca­sions by sev­eral peo­ple we’ve held meet­ings with,” he said.

Reg­u­lar went on to ex­plain that op­er­at­ing as an in­cor­po­rated com­mit­tee would al­low them to ac­cess ex­tra re­sources, such as more provin­cial and fed­eral funds that are in place for such groups. Li­a­bil­ity and pro­tec­tion for the com­mit­tee was also a topic of in­ter­est Reg­u­lar brought for­ward.

Dur­ing a pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ing, held on Oct. 23, Coun. Kathy Tet­ford made a mo­tion for the Town of Har­bour Grace to not sanc­tion or sup­port in­cor­po­ra­tion of com­mit­tees of coun­cil. The mo­tion was car­ried unan­i­mously.

Reg­u­lar stressed the com­mit­tee had no in­ten­tions or de­sires to work sep­a­rately from coun­cil, and in fact wished to work closely with the town and explore any fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties in­cor­po­ra­tion would cre­ate.

“We may ul­ti­mately de­cide that in­cor­po­ra­tion is not a good move for the com­mit­tee, but my pur­pose of bring­ing it for­ward here tonight is to open up dis­cus­sion, and see where it could go,” he said.

How­ever, Mayor Don Coombs feared that in­cor­po­ra­tion could lead to fu­ture is­sues when it came to the use of town re­sources be­tween coun­cil and the com­mit­tee.

“The rea­son for not sup­port­ing in­cor­po­ra­tion right now is the use of town re­sources,” Coombs told Reg­u­lar. “Speak­ing on other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties who have in­cor­po­ra­tion with their com­mit­tees sim­i­lar to yours, they have their own re­sources, their own staff, and other things that make it eas­ier. We thought there might be some is­sues, if coun­cil wanted to use re­sources one way, and the com­mit­tee wanted to go an­other way with it. We didn’t want to butt heads.”

While Coombs said that in­cor­po­ra­tion was not some­thing coun­cil was look­ing into at the mo­ment, he wanted to make sure the door for dis­cus­sion re­mained open.

“If you as a com­mit­tee want to in­cor­po­rate, that’s your right to do it,” said Coombs. “But right now, that’s the rea­son for our thoughts on this. The com­mit­tee does mar­vel­lous work, so it isn’t that we don’t want to work closer or any­thing like that, there’s just some con­cern over the use of town re­sources.”

Coun. Kevin Wil­liams cur­rently serves as a li­ai­son for the com­mit­tee, and will con­tinue to at­tend com­mit­tee meet­ings in the fu­ture.

The com­mit­tee does mar­vel­lous work, so it isn’t that we don’t want to work closer or any­thing like that, there’s just some con­cern over the use of town re­sources.

— Mayor Don Coombs


Don Reg­u­lar ad­dressed Har­bour Grace coun­cil mem­bers at a reg­u­lar meet­ing last Mon­day.


Har­bour Grace Mayor Don Coombs.

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