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December motion clarification  Dec 31, 2018

Public Notice
 
The following is a statement from the Town Council of Wabana and addresses the following motion made at a public meeting on Dec.13th, 2018. 
 
MOTION:
The Council finds that that the Mayor does not comply with Section 21(2) of the Municipalities Act which states that… “The Mayor is subject to the direction and control of the town council and shall abide by the decisions of the town council”, so Council needs to assist the Mayor in so doing by establishing the following: 
(1) That the Mayor shall have all official functions pre-approved by council and booked through the main office which shall keep council informed of such functions and that the Mayor return the Chain of Office to the office for safe keeping between such functions and that at least one member of council attend each function with the Mayor.
(2) That the Mayor not interfere with operational matters of the council and that staff be directed to report any such interference to the Town Manager who shall report such to the council and that the office made available to the Mayor be discontinued and that any after hours or unescorted access to town facilities be discontinued and that the Mayor not loiter in town facilities.
(3) And that as the Mayor uses the town provided cell phone for business other than that of the Office of Mayor, that the Mayor return the cell phone and such service shall be discontinued.
 
There appears to be some confusion by some of our taxpayers as to the interpretation of this motion. This notice is for clarification purposes for all. From the top:
 
All official functions attended by the Mayor must now be pre-approved by council and booked through the town office which shall keep council informed of such functions. (RATIONALE) The council as an elected body in order to operate efficiently must be aware of the functions that are attended to by the Mayor that affect the taxpayers of Bell Island, especially when those functions have consequences that may have positive or negative consequences to the town and its taxpayers. 
The Mayor return the Chain of Office to the town office for safe keeping between functions. (RATIONALE) The Chain of Office is the symbol of authority for the Town of Wabana and is worn at reverent, solemn occasions and functions where the Chain of Office is required. As such, the Chain of Office shall reside at the Town Office under lock and key and kept in pristine condition. It should never be kept in the home of an individual, no matter what the position the elected official holds in office.
The Mayor not interfere with operational matters of the council and that staff be directed to report any such interference to the Town Manager who shall report such interference to the council. (RATIONALE) The day to day operations are handled efficiently and professionally by the paid staff and management of the town. It is inappropriate for the Mayor or any single council member to interfere with those duties as outlined by council, collective agreements and The Municipalities Act. The Council and the Town Manager have cautioned the Mayor about his interference or attempted interference with the day to day running of town matters. The above stated motion by the council has made it policy that will be enforced by the council and Town Manager.
The office space for the Mayor and councillors has been discontinued. (RATIONALE) The small room that was used was considered unnecessary. The Council Chambers located next to the office is more appropriate for this venue and can be used by the Mayor and Councillors at their leisure when the need arises for meetings or consultations with taxpayers. After hours and unescorted access to the town’s main office is to be discontinued immediately.  In order to enforce this part of the motion, the council has ordered the Town Manager to change all locks on doors to the inner offices and as well the security codes have been changed. Only those employees whose work necessitates that they be in the office for work related duties will have access. (RATIONALE) The town office has very sensitive information concerning taxpayers files, payroll information, etc. Neither the Mayor, nor any unauthorized person should have any access to the office after hours. It has been noted that on several occasions the Mayor has been in the main office after hours. It is now Council policy this will no longer be acceptable. (NOTE) This has in no way impacted groups that use rooms such as the Wise Room or the Kiwanis room after hours in the evenings or on weekends as these groups have no access to restricted areas.
The Mayor shall not loiter in town facilities. (RATIONALE). Unless the Mayor has reason for being in the town offices, there is no reason to loiter in the town office where employees perform their daily work routine. It is a place of business and when business is concluded, there is no reason to be in the building. 
Mayor uses the town provided cell phone for business other than that of the Office of Mayor and that the Mayor return the cell phone and such service be discontinued. (RATIONALE) The Council feels that the only persons who should have cell phones provided for are those who require cell phones as part of their jobs and use it only for town business. The Mayor has repeatedly used the phone for personal business. This is a misuse of taxpayer’s money for personal gain and as such the Council has taken action to eliminate such abuse. A case in point is the full blown ad at the arena for the Mayor’s Trucking Business and states 685-9222 as a contact number. (NOTE) While the town is not paying for the Mayor’s personal phone anymore, it does not restrict the Mayor or any other councillor from using their personal cell phones to communicate with the taxpayers of the island, if they wish to bear the cost of the cell phone themselves. 
 
This is the motion fully broken down for the taxpayers of our island. We hope that you understand more clearly the reasons and intent of this motion. The motion was passed at the Council Public Meeting in December 13th, 2018 with a two thirds majority. The Council of the Town of Wabana takes its responsibilities to the tax payers who elected them very seriously and EVERYONE with no exceptions who sit on council is required to follow the rules and regulations that govern our municipality, that includes the Mayor.
 
VOTE BREAKDOWN:  Deputy Mayor Bill Peddle made the motion, seconded by Councillor Henry Crane. Councillors Roy Bennett and Ben Warford also voted in favour. Mayor Gary Gosine and Councillor Jordon Blackwood voted Nay.
 
These are the rules that govern the Mayor of any municipality as stated in the Municipalities Act 1999 in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Section 21 (Duties)
 
The Mayor: 21 (1)
(a) Shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the laws of the town are executed and obeyed and shall advance the aims of the town council and:
(b) Shall exercise the powers and perform the duties that may be conferred or imposed upon him/her by the town council or under the Act:
(c) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the mayor is subject to the direction and control of the town council and shall abide by the decisions of the town council.
 
 
We thank the taxpayers of the island for taking the time to read this rather long explanation of the motion as presented. We wish all of you a Happy New Year. As your elected council, we will strive to make this community great again.