Cupids mayor offers clarification

Nicholas Mercer
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Says misunderstanding at heart of Cupids, Roaches Line land dispute

An apparent land dispute between the Town of Cupids and the service district of Roaches Line is being termed as a misunderstanding by Cupids Mayor Harold Akerman.


Harold Akerman is the newly installed mayor of the Town of Cupids.

Some members of the service district have been under the impression Cupids has the intention of taking over the area.

In an email to The Compass, Morgan Russell, chairman of the Roaches Line/Goulds Ridge Road service district, wrote the community was in the process of being “taken over by the Town of Cupids.”

“It seems that this has come about due to the town of Cupids having financial difficulties and being unable to settle their debts or refinance their debts in any other way, so they see the service district of Roaches Line/Goulds Ridge Road as a way that they can take us over and pay their debt,” the email continued.

However, that is not the case.

When asked about the apparent takeover, Akerman was adamant his community has no intention of moving its municipal boundary to include Roaches Line.

“It’s not feasible,” Akerman said.

The dispute arose after Cupids decided to update its municipal plan last year. Included that plan is the Roaches Line and the Goulds Ridge Road service district.

Although not included in the municipal boundaries of Cupids, the service district is in the community’s municipal planning area. This planning area extends from the edge of Cupids’ municipal boundaries to a few feet shy of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Akerman said this has been the case for many years.

“A planning area is an area where Cupids would move to and take in, but no that has not been debated,” he said.

The problems started to arise after the provincial government suggested Cupids re-do its municipal plan.

Roaches Line was classified as rural, meaning it is zoned for cabins and the like, but not permanent dwellings or small businesses.

However, the community has always been a place where people moved to build a home or start a small business.

Looking at this, Akerman said the town switched the classification of Roaches Line.

“We looked at it, we could help the people if we switched it from rural to residential mixed,” he said.

This meant Roaches Line and the Gould Ridge Road would be on the right side of the classification.

“It would include houses and small businesses,” said Akerman.

Additional attempts by The Compass to reach Russell were unsuccessful.

 

Town hall meeting

As is customary when changing a municipal plan, Cupids held public consultations for residents.

When the town held its first meeting, many residents from Roaches Line came out for an explanation.

Akerman said the rumour had started that Cupids was looking to extend its municipal boundaries to encompass Roaches Line.

To quell these fears, the mayor addressed this rumour right away.

“I started the meeting simply to say, ‘the Town of Cupids is not moving its municipal boundaries to take in Roaches Line,” said Akerman.

 

Service district restarted

Since the first meeting, members of the community reformed the Roaches Line and Goulds Ridge Road Service District. The group even erected a new welcome sign, apparently, staking its territorial claim over the area.

As a result, the newly resurrected service district and Cupids met to further quell any talks of a takeover.

Akerman said the district requested not to be included as a residential-mixed zone.

Cupids obliged, switching the classification back to rural but with some minor alterations to include residential homes and small businesses.

When asked what sparked this latest flare up, Akerman said it was a misunderstanding between a pair of emails sent by municipal affairs.

There has since been clarification provided by the department.

“We are not in any way or shape, or process, trying to take over Roaches Line,” he said.

There is another meeting planned between the two parties in the coming weeks.

nmercer@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: Roaches Line and Goulds Ridge Road Service District, The Compass, Trans-Canada Highway

Geographic location: Goulds Ridge Road, Gould Ridge Road

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Don II
    April 08, 2014 - 12:50

    I express my comments regarding the Town of Cupids in the public interest and to help make people more aware of what the Town of Cupids is planning and doing behind the scenes. I use the word "appears" in my comments because trying to access all of the facts that are hidden behind the veil of secrecy inside the operations of the Town of Cupids is difficult to do. If my comments are not correct, I encourage the Town of Cupids to refute them and provide us with the facts. The operations of the Town of Cupids are not open and transparent. The town of Cupids is run by a small clique of people who want to control every aspect of life and development in the town of Cupids and now appear to want to extend their influence to Roache's Line. The lack of judgement and highly questionable behind the scenes secret activity of the Town of Cupids is the causation of the complaints and concerns that are being expressed. It appears that the Town of Cupids built a commercial marina using Government funding not approved for the purpose of a marina, built the marina on Crown land that the Town did not own without Government approval and built the marina in an area of Cupids not zoned for construction and operation of a commercial marina! It appears that the Town of Cupids attempted to ambush the residents of Roache's Line by planning and undertaking actions to absorb Roache's Line into the Town of Cupids and to extend the Town of Cupids Municipal Planning Area into Roache's Line without the knowledge, consultation or consent of the residents of Roache's Line! It appears that the Town of Cupids is attempting to arrange for the construction of an expensive new Town Hall and is engaged in other highly questionable activities. Supporters of the Town of Cupids object to the people's right to complain, express their opinions and to be fully informed of what the Town is doing with tax payers money and what the Town is planning to do that will adversely affect many people. It is clear that changes are needed in the municipal government in Cupids that will require forensic audits, resignations, elections and much closer supervision of the Town of Cupids by the Department of Municipal Affairs.

  • resident
    April 07, 2014 - 14:30

    Municipal councillors have a responsibility to provide balance in decision-making, for sound financial oversight, effective communications, to maintain relations with other levels of government and to comply with relevant legislation. A municipal council is only as effective and efficient as its members. Just as council has a collective responsibility to residents, each councillor has individual duties to the council. If any person feels they can do a better job then their current council then take a stand and run for council, the members of Council are there because the people wanted them there. Some people are chronic complainers and would much rather be apart of the problem than a part of the solution.

  • resident
    April 07, 2014 - 14:30

    Municipal councillors have a responsibility to provide balance in decision-making, for sound financial oversight, effective communications, to maintain relations with other levels of government and to comply with relevant legislation. A municipal council is only as effective and efficient as its members. Just as council has a collective responsibility to residents, each councillor has individual duties to the council. If any person feels they can do a better job then their current council then take a stand and run for council, the members of Council are there because the people wanted them there. Some people are chronic complainers and would much rather be apart of the problem than a part of the solution.

  • Not So Quiet Observer
    April 07, 2014 - 09:43

    No wonder people don't want to run for public office in small town Newfoundland. They certainly don't do it for the pay they receive. The personal attacks are unbelievable. Cupids Resident, you hit the nail on the head. No "Appears" attached to it. People who complain the most, do the least.

  • Cupids Resident #2
    April 07, 2014 - 09:32

    All the money in the world isn't going to change the out come of this by-election in Cupids. Its family(or family friend) all the way.

  • CUPIDS RESIDENT
    April 06, 2014 - 20:45

    Instead of wasting your time bantering back and forth in the comments section of the Compass and constantly complaining of what's wrong in our community, I hear that there are 2openings on Council.Now let's see if you have the "GUTS" to run for these positions.Put your money where your mouth is Jim-Doe and all the Dons.

  • jim boe
    April 04, 2014 - 15:39

    what a blunderbust the mayor of cupids is making of himself .does he think that the people of cupids is going to put up with such foolinish.it;s time to resign mayor. matter of fack mayor I ask you to resign and stop this childish behaviour.

  • jim boe
    April 04, 2014 - 15:38

    what a blunderbust the mayor of cupids is making of himself .does he think that the people of cupids is going to put up with such foolinish.it;s time to resign mayor. matter of fack mayor I ask you to resign and stop this childish behaviour.

  • jim doe
    April 04, 2014 - 09:33

    if the residents of Roachesline remember a meeting that was held back a few months ago ;the mayor stated that' and I quote' THAT HE LOVES ROACHES LINE; he loves it for his own gain and nothing else; how convenient would it be to buy a parcel of land to extend his own trailer business;if this is not true than I will eat my undershorts;

  • Don II
    April 04, 2014 - 09:30

    I agree with the comments of "john doe" and "Don III". It appears that in excess of $10 million dollars in Government funding has been spent in the town of Cupids during the past several years on highly questionable heritage projects. Despite the millions of dollars of tax payers money that has been spent in the town of Cupids, many of the residents do not have access to municipal water and sewer service and the roads in the town are in poor condition. Instead of spending the Government funding on major water and sewer construction, road repair and paving, the money has been wasted. It appears that the Town of Cupids used a substantial amount of money from a municipal capital works grant without Government approval in order to build a commercial marina on Crown land at Pointe Beach that the Town did not own. It appears that the Town of Cupids built the commercial marina on Crown land without Government approval or permits in an area of Crown land which was not originally zoned for commercial marina operation! It appears that when an official of the Government of Newfoundland asked the Town of Cupids if the Town had plans for the construction of a commercial marina, the Town of Cupids informed the official that it did not have any plans to build a commercial marina. On August 19, 2009 a representative of the three groups in Cupids, including the Town of Cupids, which were behind the planning, construction and operation of the unapproved marina, informed an official of the Government of Newfoundland in a e-mail message as follows: "...there has been absolutely no request by anybody to operate a marina. The word "Marina" should not be, and never has been, used by any of the three parties who have been fully co-operating with each other." Despite this denial, the commercial marina was in fact built by the Town of Cupids without Government approval on Crown land that the Town of Cupids did not own! A number of Private land owners in Cupids received registered letters from the Town of Cupids informing them that their waterfront properties would be purchased or expropriated in order to improve and expand the marina. Upon discovering that the Town of Cupids had built a commercial marina which was in operation on Crown land in Cupids without approval and permits, the Government of Newfoundland ordered the Town of Cupids to immediately cease operation of the partially completed commercial marina and to vacate the Crown land on which the commercial marina had been built! It has come to my attention that in addition to the highly questionable plan by the Town of Cupids to absorb Roache's Line and Gould's Ridge Road into the boundaries of Cupids and the highly questionable construction of an unapproved commercial marina on Crown land not owned by the Town of Cupids, there are a number of other highly questionable activities involving the Town of Cupids which should be made public and investigated by the Government of Newfoundland. It is clear that the residents of Cupids and the residents of Roache's Line and Gould's Ridge Road do not know what the Town of Cupids is doing or is planning behind closed doors. The residents have been kept in the dark regarding the highly questionable behind the scenes plans and activities of the Town of Cupids.

  • jim doe
    April 04, 2014 - 09:29

    if the residents of Roachesline remember a meeting that was held back a few months ago ;the mayor stated that' and I quote' THAT HE LOVES ROACHES LINE; he loves it for his own gain and nothing else; how convenient would it be to buy a parcel of land to extend his own trailer business;if this is not true than I will eat my undershorts;

  • Don II
    April 02, 2014 - 12:47

    If the Town of Cupids is not planning to annex and absorb Roache's Line into the Town of Cupids municipal boundary then the Town should have no objection to the Minister of Municipal Affairs immediately rescinding and removing the Cupids and Brigus Municipal Planning Area from Roache's Line.

  • Don II
    April 02, 2014 - 12:43

    Despite what the Mayor of Cupids is claiming, if the Town of Cupids has no plans to annex and absorb Roache's Line into the boundary of the Town of Cupids in the future in order to impose property taxes on the residents, why did the Town of Cupids include Roache's Line inside it's municipal planning area? Why is the Town of Cupids involved in making any kind of land use and development planning and making changes to any Planning Area mapping and documents which directly and adversely affects the residents of Roache's Line? The people of Roache's Line are not represented on the Town of Cupids Council and were never consulted in any way regarding the imposition of a Planning Area by the Town of Cupids. I am informed that the residents of Roache's Line are not interested in any way, shape or form in becoming part of or in being ruled by the Town of Cupids!

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:16

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:17

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:17

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:18

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:19

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:19

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

    • Don III
      April 02, 2014 - 20:20

      Some of the people of Cupids isn't represented by the Council...... they meaning council choose what they want to do not what they are legally obligated to do. Its time that the people of Cupids are treated fair in all aspects of matters with the town. People of Cupids, Council was put there for you, not for the benefit of themselves........It's time to let the cat out of the bag.......

  • Don II
    April 02, 2014 - 10:19

    It appears that both the Town of Cupids and the Town of Brigus have Planning Areas which encompass nearly all of the land on Roache's Line. The Planning Areas extend nearly to the Trans Canada Highway. The audacity of the Town of Cupids to undertake planning for Roache's Line including designating thousands of acres of privately owned land as "rural" and placing land use development restrictions and impediments on the land on Roache's Line is astounding. It is clear that the cash strapped Town of Cupids intends to annex and absorb Roache's Line in the future in order to impose property taxes and development regulations on the residents. It appears that the Planning Area allows the Town of Cupids to impose regulations on development on Roache's Line which require the residents of Roache's Line to obtain Permits from the Town of Cupids! It is clear that the residents of Roache's Line do not want to be part of the Town of Cupids and do not want to be subject to development permit regulations imposed by the Town of Cupids on Roache's Line. The Planning Areas of the Town of Cupids and Town of Brigus which encompass land on Roache's Line should be immediately rescinded and removed by the Minister of the Department of Municipal Affairs. Mayor Akerman admits that: "A Planning Area is an area where Cupids would move to and take in..." As for Mayor Akerman's claim that the Town of Cupids has no plans to extend it's municipal boundary to include Roache's Line, the Mayor of Cupids neglected to mention the meeting which took place between the Town of Cupids and MHA Tom Hedderson on February 28, 2011 in which extending the Town of Cupids boundaries to take over Roache's Line was extensively discussed. It appears that during that meeting, MHA Tom Hedderson informed the Town of Cupids that it should set the limits of where they want the boundaries extended and make representation to the Department of Municipal Affairs pursuant to Sections 3 and 9 of the Municipal Affairs Act which is required before municipal boundaries can be extended. It appears that a feasibility study must be undertaken at the expense of the Town of Cupids before the Town can proceed with it's plans for the take over of Roache's Line! It appears that much planning by the Town of Cupids to take over Roache's Line has gone on for several years in secret behind closed doors and without the knowledge and consent of the residents of Roache's Line! The last thing that the people of Roache's Line would want is to be ruled by the Town of Cupids! It appears that the Town of Cupids has been less than open and transparent in it's dealings with the people of Roache's Line . The Town of Cupids was forced to reveal and discuss it's boundary extension plans for Roache's Line only after the secret plan to take over Roache's Line was uncovered!

    • john doe
      April 03, 2014 - 17:09

      Yes,Don II, I agree with you 100%. The council of Cupids is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the residents of Roaches Line. It is obvious that the town of Cupids (behind door meetings) is getting the support from the government and the outcome will be of no fault to the residents of Cupids.