The Town of Bay Roberts has voted to send a second delegate to the Stewardship Association of Municipalities (SAM) meetings in Happy Valley-Goose Bay this month, despite strong opposition from the deputy mayor.
"There should only be one person going," Bill Seymour told The Compass last week. "It could've been me or it could've been her, but there shouldn't be two going."
Council's decision last week to send two delegates - Seymour and Patricia George - followed a testy presentation to the elected group by George during its Sept. 13 meeting.
Seymour is council's representative on the Shearstown Estuary Joint Management Committee, while George is the citizen representative. The committee is comprised of representatives of Bay Roberts and neighbouring Spaniard's Bay.
Initially, Seymour was tapped to attend the Oct. 12-14 meeting in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, with his trip costs paid by the Town of Bay Roberts. But George challenged that decision, and pulled no punches during her presentation. She was highly critical of Seymour's performance and commitment to the committee, and said she should be the one to represent the committee.
A town official polled councillors by email following the Sept. 13 meeting, and the majority agreed that both should attend the Labrador meeting.
It was a move that did not sit well with Seymour.
"I think it should've been brought to the table," he said during the Sept. 25 council meeting. "Anytime a councillor wants to go somewhere, it has to be brought to the table."
Seymour wanted the chance to vote after bringing his concerns to the council chambers.
"It's a vote. If I lose four to one, or six to seven, so be it," he said.
It could make for an uncomfortable trip for the two delegates, considering George's verbal dressing down of the deputy mayor on Sept. 13.
"I didn't think she was that desperate to get to Labrador," Seymour told The Compass. "I thought she might have been a little bit better than that."
Seymour responded to his attendance record, saying, "We've had five meetings since January, and I've missed two of those because I was in hospital."
In more than a decade as the town's representative on SAM, Seymour has only missed two meetings.
"We've had 28 meetings in 14 years and I've attended 26 of them," he said.
Seymour believes his attendance record speaks for itself.
"I've put in a lot of work over the years," he said. "I always bring my reports back to council."
Looking around the town, it is not hard to see the work Seymour and others have done for the two towns.
"I spent eight years cleaning Muddy Hole," he said. "We've done three cleanups over the years."
Seymour also points to work done in Arnies Pond and Shearstown Pond as evidence of the good work he and his committee has put in over the last 14 years.
Seymour remembers a time when the Shearstown Estuary was not in as good a shape as it is now.
Where wild ducks and other waterfowl are now highly visible, there was a time when a duck seen on the water meant a good meal for someone with a keen shot.
"I've been around the province and there's nothing as nice as what we have here," said Seymour. "I've had people tell me it's one of the best in the province."
Seymour does not see the point of sending two people to the same conference.
"I'm going to bring back a report, and she is going to being back the same report," he said.