Marystown coun­cil votes to re­in­state may­oral bal­lot

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN FARRELL

In a 5-1 vote, mem­bers of the Marystown town coun­cil re­scinded a mo­tion to elim­i­nate the sep­a­rate bal­lot for mayor dur­ing a reg­u­lar meet­ing held Dec.6.

Coun. Leonard Pittman, who brought forth the orig­i­nal mo­tion to scrap the bal­lot dur­ing a Nov. 15 coun­cil meet­ing, voted against the coun­cil de­ci­sion to re­scind the mo­tion dur­ing the most re­cent meet­ing.

Pittman was noted in an ear­lier ar­ti­cle by The South­ern Gazette as say­ing the change had been dis­cussed dur­ing bud­get talks this fall as a cost-sav­ing mea­sure.

Coun. Lisa Slaney, who sec­onded the Nov. 15 mo­tion, moved at the Dec. 6 meet­ing to have it re­scinded.

“Be it re­solved that the up­com­ing 2017-2021 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion ap­proved be given as per sec­tion 17 of the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act 1999 to hold one elec­tion for all of coun­cil rather than a sep­a­rate elec­tion for the mayor, so I’m mov­ing to re­scind that mo­tion,” she said.

Coun. Rudy Hoskins sec­onded the mo­tion.

De­bate

Dur­ing the meet­ing there was still some de­bate on whether Mayor Sam Sy­nard had been in­formed of the per­vi­ous mo­tion be­fore it was brought forth at the Nov. 15 meet­ing.

Be­fore coun­cil had a chance to vote on Dec. 6, Sy­nard va­cated the Mayor’s chair to ad­dress those in at­ten­dance on this is­sue.

“I was to­tally blind­sided by the de­ci­sion to abol­ish the mayor’s elec­tion, I wasn’t con­sulted on it, it wasn’t on the agenda at our last meet­ing. I found out about it a day and a half later when some­one phoned me and said what hap­pened and I said, ‘I have no idea what your talk­ing about,” said Sy­nard, who was not in at­ten­dance at the mid-Novem­ber meet­ing.

Coun­cil­lors Pittman and Slaney both re­sponded to the mayor’s com­ments that an e- mail had been is­sued.

Sy­nard said he was happy with coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to re­scind the ear­lier mo­tion.

“It was never dis­cussed, never on the agenda” re­sponded Sy­nard. “So I’m glad that coun­cil has agreed.”

Sy­nard was dis­rupted by a ques­tion from a mem­ber of the pub­lic in at­ten­dance at the meet­ing.

“Which is it, was there an email or was there not an e-mail?” asked Joan Brown.

“No, I did not re­ceive an email, this wasn’t on the agenda,” Sy­nard said in re­sponse. “It wasn’t on the agenda is that clear?

“I can’t make it any clearer it wasn’t on the agenda, we get our agenda days in ad­vance — it wasn’t on the agenda. It shouldn’t of been brought up in this man­ner — it’s a ter­ri­ble way to con­duct busi­ness, but I’m glad we are go­ing to move this unan­i­mously to re­scind it, so I won’t speak to it any­more.”

Not happy

John Cheese­man, a res­i­dent of Pid­geon’s Road in Marystown, was not happy with coun­cil’s ear­lier de­ci­sion to do away with the bal­lot.

“My first thoughts when they put the vote up to elim­i­nate the mayor’s (elec­tion) was, ‘No you’re not do­ing that, that’s my right,’” he said.

COLIN FARRELL/ TC ME­DIA

The dé­cor at of the room was fes­tive but the mood was any­thing but when mem­bers of the town coun­cil met Tues­day at St. Gabriel’s Hall in Marystown.

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