Cupids mayor Ron Laracy resigns due to work commitments

Terry Roberts
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Ron Laracy has resigned as the mayor of Cupids, citing work commitments.

Ron Laracy confirmed today (Jan. 30) that he has resigned as mayor of the Town of Cupids, citing work commitments as the reason for his unexpected departure.

“I have too much on my plate where I’m working and everything,” Laracy told The Compass.

Laracy denied that his departure had anything to do with a recent disagreement among council members over a proposed pay increase for the town’s two municipal employees.

“It was no issue in particular,” he said. “I just didn’t have time for it.”

Council voted down a proposed five-per cent pay increase for staff during a recent privileged meeting, with only Deputy Mayor Ross Dawe and Coun. Harold Akerman supporting the motion. Both are members of the finance committee.

Laracy and councillors Kevin Connolly, Doug Furey, Christine Burry and Harvey Puddister voted against the increase.

Laracy did not address the issue when contacted by The Compass, but the vote has created some tension on council, with Dawe saying he was disappointed the motion was rejected.

He said council employees have not seen a pay increase in two years, and the cost of living is steadily going up.

“I stood up for the employees to try to give them a raise. You can’t have people working for nothing,” Dawe stated.

“I believe they deserved a small increase.”

Laracy, meanwhile, is a municipal employee with the neighbouring Town of Clarke’s Beach. He was elected to the Cupids town council during a 2008 byelection, and was re-elected in the 2009 municipal general election.

There’s less than eight months remaining in council’s four-year term, and when asked why he couldn’t hang on until his mandate expired, Laracy repeated, “If I don’t have the time, it’s better to move aside and give someone else a chance.”

Attempts to reach other members of the council were unsuccessful, but Dawe said Laracy’s resignation was a surprise.

A council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5, and a new mayor is expected to be appointed at that time.

When asked if he would seek the job, Dawe said he was “very doubtful,” and that he likely wouldn’t get the support of a majority of his colleagues if he did.

“Knowing the support that I had as head of the finance committee … that lack of support, it’s hard to continue with that in the mayor’s chair.”

When asked who might be the next mayor, Dawe replied: “Maybe some of these councillors that seem to have a lot of answers that didn’t make too much sense to me will take it on.”

Dawe was also non-committal when asked whether he will seek re-election in September.

“It takes up a lot of your time, and I had a bout with cancer last fall. I will have to seriously look at my health. When you’re up in your 60s, you have to consider how much time to devote to public causes. Retirement goes very quickly,” he said.

But Dawe said the town council has been very effective, and managed to fully capitalize on the Cupids 400 celebrations held in 2010.

“It was the biggest celebration any town of our size ever had in the province,” he said. “It was very successful and we had a lot of improvements made in the town.”

Editor's note: for more comprehensive coverage of this issue, pick up a copy of the Feb. 5, 2013 print edition of The Compass.

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Recent comments

  • Vicki
    June 16, 2013 - 21:19

    Cupids can't afford a pay increase, for their two employees. I have no services now. Dedicated or not the jobs are bookwork and garbage pickup. $15.00 per hour wage is a more than fair wage for this service in NL. The peoples taxes were increased this year. I pay taxes for garbage pickup only. $1000. taxes for an unserviced lot. NO WATER NO SEWAGE Roaming dogs are a problem in Cupids. 5 dogs in my yard at one time, attacking my dog on a leash. NO DOG CATCHER ! My kitten recently suffered a broken leg from a neighbouring dog. The neighbour doesn't care or take responsibility for the cost of amputation. I have made council Ivy King aware of this problem before. No help from council. I have seen the cliques and favoritism running things in Cupids. GREAT EXAMPLE was the Cupids 400 Anniversary. Where did the millions go? The people in the town of Cupids did not reap any lasting rewards and the commoner wasn't asked to be involved. Some locals musicians were denied a table to sell cds to at the festival. But council did allow others, that weren't even from this community. Also,Expropriating means taking away something thats not yours!!!! The council who want this marina for approx. 10 boats, is being really terrible to the family who own this property, forcing them to spend unnecessarily for a legal council to fight for whats already theirs Beating up the small guy for the big $ gain. I seen this in L'anse aux Meadows. The NL government trying to force out the small NL fisherman and any work they would have seen from tourism is gone due to the Western Brook Pond tour. Again, big $ operation overshadow the small guy. Word to the wise. Newfoundland won't be very nice to visit, if that NL way of life is gone.

  • Don II
    February 04, 2013 - 17:33

    I read the comments of "Non Resident" and agree that Regional Municipal Government is long overdue in Conception Bay North. The establishment of Regional Municipal Government should avoid the problems created by town councils that are being run by families and cliques pursuing hidden agendas at the tax payers expense. Regional Government should reduce the major costs involved in maintaining several Town Halls and will reduce tax rates and standardize bylaws and development regulations. However, I agree with councilors who voted against pay increases in excess of 3%. The raise in pay of 18% over 4 years which was agreed to by the Town of Cupids in 2010 was excessive. The excessive pay increase and costly pursuit of constructing a commercial marina and expropriating privately owned land is a clear indication that the Town of Cupids is wasting the tax payers money. According to a Notice of a Public Briefing published by the Town of Cupids, it appears that the Town of Cupids is now planning to amend the Town of Cupids Municipal Development Plan in order to permit the Town to construct docks in the Salt Water Pond. It appears that the Town of Cupids, while planning to build docks for itself, has refused to allow a number of land owners to build docks along their waterfront lands at Salt Water Pond. If the Town of Cupids is permitted to amend the Municipal Development Plan to allow for construction of docks in Salt Water Pond by the Town Council for its pursuit of a commercial marina then the Town Council of Cupids must allow ALL of the land owners at Salt Water Pond to construct docks along their waterfront lands. The Town of Cupids is attempting to amend the Municipal Plan to allow for construction of its docks and will likely continue to refuse permission for land owners to construct docks along their lands at Salt Water Pond which would be grossly unfair and an abuse of authority. It appears that close scrutiny of and objections to the activities of the Town Council in Cupids is required.

  • non resident
    February 01, 2013 - 13:56

    Maybe time to give amalagion look at . being so close with a disfunctional town don`t help enither. Any thing done at a privaliged meeting don`t mean a thing until its voted on at a plubic meeting.If the pay incress was in the budget and council passed the budget then the incress is included . so it must stand .

  • Don II
    February 01, 2013 - 08:40

    Deputy Mayor Ross Dawe is quoted as stating: "You can't have people working for nothing. I believe they deserved a small increase." Deputy Mayor Dawe neglected to reveal to The Compass that in a Council meeting held on March 16, 2010 he personally proposed a motion to approve a compensation package for permanent staff of the Town of Cupids which would result in pay rate increases of 8% effective March 15, 2010, 3% effective January 1, 2011, 3% effective January 1, 2012 and 4% effective January 1, 2013! The motion proposed by Deputy Mayor Dawe was passed. It appears that permanent staff received combined pay increases of 11% in 2010 and 2011! At a Council meeting on December 8, 2011, it appears that the Council voted to rescind the payment of the remaining raises of 3% and 4% for 2012 and 2013. This rescinding of promised pay raises in 2012 and 2013 appears to be the cause of the current dispute. It appears that the councilors who voted against the proposed 5% pay raise were correct considering the fact that the annual inflation rate in CANADA is only 2% per year and that pay raises of 8%, 3%, 4% and 3% totaling 18% over 4 years appears to be excessive and far above the pay increases paid to the public service and private sector during the same period of time! It appears that payment of a $100 "Christmas Bonus" was also promised to permanent employees! Deputy Mayor Dawe is quoted as stating: "The town council has been very effective....and we had a lot of improvements made in the town." The fact is that despite over $10 million tax payer dollars being pumped into the Town of Cupids that the streets remain in substandard condition and many homeowners do not have access to municipal water and sewer services. It appears that in 2010 a substantial amount of a $1.5 Million Grant from the Government of Newfoundland for the purpose of "Municipal Improvements" was spent by the Town of Cupids to construct infrastructure on Pointe Beach to create a commercial marina. It appears that the construction of the commercial marina was not approved or authorized by the Government of Newfoundland. A letter dated April 30, 2012 sent to the Town of Cupids from the Department of Environment and Conservation stated: "This is to advise that these lands are Crown lands and you are not authorized to operate a commercial marina from these lands. You are to immediately cease any occupation of these lands and not to restrict public access to the said lands. Should the Town of Cupids or the Cupids Boat Owners Association Inc. refuse to vacate these Crown lands, the Department of Environment and Conservation will apply to a judge for a Court Order.....requiring these lands be delivered up to the Crown." It also appears that former Mayor Laracy had sent letters to a number of private land owners who own land near Pointe Beach advising them that their lands would be expropriated by the Town in order to further develop the public marina. It appears that the Town of Cupids has been spending tax payer money in pursuit of constructing a commercial marina which was not approved and which is not required for the operation of the Town of Cupids. It appears that no feasibility study was conducted to determine if a commercial marina was economically viable. It appears that a commercial marina would add debt and create expensive expenditures for the Town of Cupids which cannot afford to replace its aging fleet of municipal vehicles. Deputy Mayor Dawe is quoted as stating that the Town of Cupids.." managed to fully capitalize on the Cupids 400 celebrations held in 2010." It appears that the Town of Cupids spent millions of dollars of tax payer money on projects and issues that were not directly related to the administration, essential public services and infrastructure needs of the people of the Town of Cupids! It appears that more transparent disclosure regarding the activities of the town council in the Town of Cupids is required.

  • Resident
    January 31, 2013 - 21:09

    There are a few things that I don't understand with statements made in your story........"Council voted down a proposed five-per cent pay increase for staff during a recent privileged meeting", in order for the motion to be vaild under Section 213 (3) A decision of the councillors made at a privileged meeting shall not be valid until that decision has been ratified by a vote of the councillors at a public meeting. So in actually fact there is no vaild motion of council to vote down the pay increase. Also why would a council who voted to adopt the 2013 Municipal Budget which included the pay increase that is in question, then have a privileged meeting to make a motion thats not vaild to take the increase away. I applaud the two members of council who stood up for their employees, the other five remaining councillors "SHAME ON YOU". When a town has hard dedicated workers they deserve a increase. Maybe members on council could give up their remunuration that they recieve to allow for the increase, if money was the factor with the other five councilliors. The town of Cupids is a beautiful town, a community to be proud of. To the five members take a lesson from your 2 members that agree with the increase and treat your employees with respect and show some appreciation!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Resident
    January 31, 2013 - 20:56

    There are a few things that I don't understand with statements made in your story........"Council voted down a proposed five-per cent pay increase for staff during a recent privileged meeting", in order for the motion to be vaild under Section 213 (3) A decision of the councillors made at a privileged meeting shall not be valid until that decision has been ratified by a vote of the councillors at a public meeting. So in actually fact there is no vaild motion of council to vote down the pay increase. Also why would a council who voted to adopt the 2013 Municipal Budget which included the pay increase that is in question, then have a privileged meeting to make a motion thats not vaild to take the increase away. I applaud the two members of council who stood up for their employees, the other five remaining councillors "SHAME ON YOU". When a town has hard dedicated workers they deserve a increase. Maybe members on council could give up their remunuration that they recieve to allow for the increase, if money was the factor with the other five councilliors. The town of Cupids is a beautiful town, a community to be proud of. To the five members take a lesson from your 2 members that agree with the increase and treat your employees with respect and show some appreciation!!!!!!!!!!!