Recently, the owner of Country Haven Funeral Home proposed to build a crematorium to compliment their funeral home on Country Road. The City sent letters to nearby houses announcing the proposed development and soliciting opinion. Council voted 3-3 on the matter and it remains stalled.
Mayor Charles Pender decided to declare himself in a conflict of interest and didn't vote "because people may perceive that if I voted one way or the other I'm trying to protect my property values because my house is for sale." (CBC, July 20)
Pender's home is 300 metres from the proposed location: three times the 100 metres distance the city itself deemed relevant for consultation purposes.
Either the City's own yardstick for soliciting meaningful consultation is too short or the mayor didn't want to give a public opinion. Since he didn't voice concern about the former, we are left to assume the latter.
By abdicating his responsibility to vote, Mayor Pender is repeating the pattern of weak leadership we've seen from him over the last number of years — the same weak leadership that causes him to remain silent on the recently released consultant's report on the city's fire services.
There are a number of provocative findings and recommendations in that report, yet we've heard nothing from the mayor. I guess endorsing a $10 million dollar report two months before taxpayers go to the polls is not a very enticing proposition for those perpetually campaigning instead of leading. Maybe Deputy Mayor Staeben was right when he expressed his concern about playing politics with municipal issues.
It seems Mr. Pender wishes to wait until after the election again to disappoint either the business or the residents.
Making decisions often means disappointing one side or the other, but even in election years, we expect councillors to get their work done and make decisions for the benefit of the city.
Good leadership requires one to make a decision, whether right or wrong, and then defend that decision. Make a decision Mr. Pender. Stop waffling until after the election.
Jerry Lyver, Corner Brook