MH councillors distance selves from reeve 0
Minden Hills councillors are distancing themselves from comments Reeve Barb Reid made in the local media last month.
Those comments were made in response to a petition signed by more than 200 residents expressing concern over ongoing staff turnover and employee treatment within the township, presented to council by Lois Rigney on June 13.
The following week, in a letter to the editor which the reeve titled “A few bad apples,” Reid wrote on behalf of council regarding the termination of staff members.
“Council knew it had to make some difficult decisions and voted unanimously to terminate these employees,” Reid wrote, also implying that staff members had been harassing other staff members.
The reeve was quoted in another county publication calling citizens involved with the petition “toxic and destructive.”
At a July 25 meeting, Councillor Brigitte Gall read the following motion:
“The below identified majority of council of Minden Hills does not approve, nor approved, statements made the reeve in letters to the editor . . . did not grant the authority of the reeve to disclose confidential information, wilfully mislead other members of council, employees or the public and in no way condone, approve, or had any prior knowledge of the disrespectful and negative characterization of members of the public as 'toxic and destructive.'”
Moved by Gall and seconded by Councillor Larry Clarke – both of whom ran as part of Reid's Vision Team in the 2010 election – the motion was signed by themselves as well as Deputy-reeve Cheryl Murdoch, Councillor Jean Neville and Councillor Lisa Schell.
Gall spoke to the motion, noting it was not meant to be punitive or create difficulty for staff, but to reiterate that the letter was submitted without the knowledge of council.
In the letter, Reid referred to resolution 13-23, calling it an unrecorded, unanimous vote to dismiss employees.
Gall said this was not the case.
“We're in a situation . . . as a council, we're tyring to speak as one voice,” said Clarke.
A recorded vote was requested with Gall, Clarke, Murdoch, Neville and Schell voting in favour of the motion.
Councillor Ken Redpath, who also ran as part of Reid's Vision Team, voted against the motion.
“As our CAO has strongly recommended not moving forward with this course of action, I cannot support it,” Redpath said, voting no.
Chief administrative officer Nancy Wright-Laking also asked Reid for her vote, which was no.
The reeve made no further comment.