Saturday, August 11, 2012

Betty's letter

(Normally I try to stick to Clarenville matters here, but Bonavista's health directly affects Clarenville. So here I go...)

How much egg can Bonavista Mayor Betty Fitzgerald and Bonivista MHA Glen Little possibly wear on their faces?  Seems like a lot.

There’s a fuss coming out of Bonivista this week that speaks more to how issues are handled in some municipalities. The issue surrounds the historic Bonavista lighthouse. It seems as if it is slowly rotting, demonstrating that maintenance is lacking and restoration is required. (You can see the story online: Bonavista mayor asked MHA's staff to pen critical letter and see the copy of the letter on the CBC website). 

Unfortunately neither is happening and because of this yet another of Bonavista’s star tourist attractions is being threatened.  For a town that has pinned a lot of its future hopes on tourism this news and news of similar problems with the “Mickbegger Premises” and the “Matthew”pose a definite threat to the Town’s future. 

Enter Bonavista Councillor John Norman.

John is a progressive voice (some say a radical voice) on the Bonavista  council.  Sadly he’s one of a handful of young and progressive voices in rural NL government.  These “type” of people come with new ideas and are not chained by the old status quo philosophy that says (shouts) “that’s not the way we do things around here”.  So he’s outspoken, recognizes that change needs to come quickly rather than slowly and he is sick a tired of ineptitude. ( a Danny Williams type).  I and many others with an interest in seeing their municipalities look to the future -rather than be rooted in the past can relate with his desire and his frustration.

John Norman spoke out last week on a real issue that impacts his community – especially the future of his community.  It’s his right and his obligation as an engaged citizen - and as a councillor.     Mayor Fitzgerald took exception to his comments rationalizing her stance with the old standard “I'm the Mayor and that’s not the way we do things around here”.  Turns out she got MHA, Glen Little to put her concerns in writing for her.  His office penned a letter for her signature that slammed Norman, covered her rear end and expressed her support for the Government & Little - in three paragraphs.  Too bad the letter did not mention the real problems with the lighthouse.    This all become public and the real issue of the lighthouse has been lost in the controversy.   Almost too foolish to talk about!

I hope John Norman can bring the focus back to the real issue – the lighthouse and its importance to his town’s future. Based on the way this was handled by Mayor Fitzgerald and MHA Little they will be spending their time getting the egg of their faces.  Bravo John – Thanks for doing the job and doing it well.

Based on the tone of this letter, Mayor Fitzgerald would like to see you gone before next September's municipal election - Did I ever mention to you that Clarenville is a great place to live? 

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