By Clare Murphy
It's that time again — municipal elections across our province, and Clarke's Beach is no exception. It is also a time for us to collect our thoughts, express our values and opinions, and to come to a conclusion on who is best suited to run our town, work for us, respect us as a community and do the right thing whenever possible on our behalf.
Looking around myself and having attended many meetings over the past four years I have many concerns on issues that have affected us in our community.
To begin with, I see a slab of cement across from our town centre on the Conception Bay highway which cost taxpayers in the vicinity of $40,000. Of what value it is and what it will be used for is yet to be determined.
How can we forget our beautiful white garbage truck purchased for close to $50,000, which only works on occasion and our repair bills keep mounting, not to mention its gas consumption. In fact, it probably should be parked at Robin Hood Bay.
We have also hired another full-time employee to operate this truck along with other duties around town, more money … the costs are mounting.
Over the years we have always had two employees, one full-time and one part-time. Things were going well while a contractor collected our garbage and no one had any complaints. This of course did cost money, but I bet if you were to look at both situations you would see a huge difference.
We also had a letter in to our local Compass regarding the deplorable condition of our children's playground. You can bet that fell on deaf ears like everything else.
Another concern I have: Have you ever needed to speak to council at a private or public meeting to discuss a matter or situation important to you? Well we have and after making a public application, then repeated emails and telephone calls, our answer wasn't just "no," but no reply at all!
To experience such arrogance and ignorance from a council or anyone serving the public is downright wrong. We have been denied to speak at any general meeting, we cannot get an appointment to tell our side of the story. There is a real lack of transparency regarding our town matters.
You see it becomes quite obvious your opinion doesn't matter to this council.
Our mayor — she is also one of us — is left out of the loop, while all decisions are made by the "Boy's Club."
We do have two people on council who WILL work for you, and you probably know by now who they are. In my opinion what we have is a "wannabe mayor" and his boys working on their own agendas where we are not included — it's sad. Shame on these councillors!
At a general meeting certain members challenged our mayor from her chair, lashed out at her with pointed fingers and reddened cheeks in front of the public. It was very upsetting to watch. I wonder if our mayor was a male would they have done that? What do you think, ladies? How would you feel if you were on the receiving end? How would you defend yourself?
So folks we have a lot to think about. Who will serve on our next council and how do we as a community deserve to be treated? Do we want this frivolous spending and wastefulness to end and more emphasis placed on our surroundings and the children of our town? Do we want our voice back and our mayor to be respected by all concerned? We want our town to move forward in a positive way and the mayor of our town to be respected, whether male or female.
Our community cannot keep going this way. The negativity is spilling over on our residents.
We, the residents, are top priority and we must say so on Sept. 24. Let's think about our community and choose councillors who will respect us, listen to our concerns and build a future for our children. We are all fed up with a one-sided agenda. Let's move forward in a positive direction.
— Clare Murphy writes from Clarke's Beach