Marystown council votes to reinstate mayoral ballot
In a 5-1 vote, members of the Marystown town council rescinded a motion to eliminate the separate ballot for mayor during a regular meeting held Dec.6.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 Lisa Slaney, who seconded the Nov. 15 motion, moved at the Dec. 6 meeting to have it rescinded.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.
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.”
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.
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.