BARRY’S BAY – Participation was not a one time thing, as the council chambers filled up with community members, it is clear that they are there to stay, and will be doing so at many of the upcoming meetings.
Council of Madawaska Valley Township met as scheduled for a regular council meeting on February 4.
Brian Mizzon spoke for the Citizens Action Committee (CAC) of the Township of Madawaska Valley concerning a special scheduled meeting two days following the public council meeting being held on July 27.
This special meeting has been scheduled so council can make a final decision on the issue of the water and waste water taxation.
However, the public has noticed that the location of this meeting is to be in the council chambers, which only permits a certain number of individuals at one time.
“A great many ratepayers are disappointed to learn that such a small venue, with limited capacity has been chosen for this meeting. The CAC would like to bring to your attention the fact that an ever growing number of ratepayers are making their intention to attend this meeting known,” Mizzon said, continuing to state that CAO Bryan Brown has received at least 25 pieces of correspondence that contain 40 signatures from seasonal ratepayers who have full intentions of attending the meeting.
Brown confirmed that he has received this information.
Mizzon then presented to council 19 letters of intent to attend the special council meeting, with a total of 238 signatures.
“These are not petitions, but rather are letters of intent to attend,” he explained.
The letters explain that those signing are intending to attend the special meeting on July 29, and that it is recommended that council change the location to a larger venue in order to accommodate those who wish to be at the meeting.
“We respectfully ask council to move the venue of the meeting during which this vote will take place, to one with sufficient capacity for all interested ratepayers,” Mizzon read from the letter.
The letter continued to explain how council accommodated for local students during local government week, holding a regular council meeting at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre in October.
“It is hoped that you will also accommodate the wishes of your ratepayers in the same manner,” Mizzon continued.
With a total of 276 signatures, Mayor David Shulist began to reconsider the special meeting of July 29, considering the lounge located in the upstairs portion of the Township office.
According to Shulist it may not be a large enough venue for the meeting taking into account how many ratepayers intend on being there.
“The next move would be to go to the ice surface,” Shulist said.
Councillor Shaun O’Reilly then spoke to council concerning the issue.
“If you are going to have the public meeting one day, why wouldn’t you have the public meeting and have the council immediately, so that everybody that is at that meeting is at the decisional meeting also.”
According to O’Reilly he was lead to believe that the decision was going to be made during the public meeting on July 27.
“That caught me a little surprised, I thought we were going to make a decision at the public meeting,” he said.
Shulist agreed that making a decision that day was a good idea, and that the special meeting should follow the public meeting, at which time a decision will be made.
Story continues in the February 6, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.