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The mayor of Dalhousie says he’s more concerned with keeping taxes from increasing after a cut to the transfer payment than he is dealing with a councillor who has been insulting colleagues and volunteers.
“We just got a slap in the face and a kick in the groin by the province [of] our transfer payment’s being cut by $388,000. Now that’s a 20 cent tax hike on my municipality if I have to follow through on it,” said Normand Pelletier.
“Now you think I got time to deal with a councillor who’s pouting like a kid when I got serious issues to deal with? I’ve got more serious issues to deal with than Coun. Maloney.”
The mayor expelled Coun. Mickey Maloney from all council functions including committee and public council meetings until he apologizes to Pelletier and others, including his fellow councillors for his behaviour.
The expulsion took place at Dalhousie’s town council public meeting on Nov. 20.
Expelled over Facebook posts, language
Pelletier said Maloney asked via email before the meeting to have items added to the agenda, but the mayor said he replied that he preferred to have items discussed at committee meetings before they went to a public meeting.
On the night of the meeting as Pelletier was welcoming everyone, he said Maloney said he wanted the items added to the agenda but didn’t provide the other councillors with a copy of his request.
“The issues he had brought up on his paper were the collective agreement and other issues that we usually handle in-camera.”
After telling Maloney they wouldn’t be added, Pelletier said he continued, telling the councillor to stop posting council issues on Facebook as he had asked him months ago.
Maloney’s response, according to the mayor, was he had no intention of stopping his Facebook posts.
Pelletier told CBC News Maloney had insulted many of the town staff and all members of council numerous occasions with foul language.
“I told Coun. Maloney, ‘I had enough with your conduct. You don’t seem to want to work with council,'” Pelletier said.
Maloney didn’t respond to phone calls, an email or a Facebook message from CBC requesting comment.
After telling Maloney his behaviour and actions were not acceptable, Pelletier said he told him he had to apologize to those he insulted over the last 16 months, to stop posting council issues on Facebook or he would be excused from his duties as a town councillor until he did so.
“And that’s where it is right now.”
When asked how as mayor he was able to expel an elected town councillor, Pelletier said he used a town bylaw.
The bylaw gives the mayor the authority to expel anybody from the meeting that’s verbally abusive or using foul language towards other members of the council and only the majority of council can overrule the decision.
“This is the bylaw that I’m utilizing to expel Mr. Maloney from any future committee or public meetings.”
Pelletier confirmed that included sitting in the public gallery at the meetings as well.
“He’s still a paid councillor with the town of Dalhousie, he’s still receiving a payment from the town. As an elected official, I’ve suspended him from all future duties until he apologizes.”
Council supports mayor
Pelletier said Maloney has two choices: he can apologize or he can resign and attend the meetings as a citizen.
The mayor said he has the support of his fellow councillors, many of whom he said were ready to resign.
“I apologized to them. I probably should have taken action earlier but you always give a person the benefit of the doubt. You always think they’re going to change or improve but it didn’t, it just got worse and worse.”
Pelletier said Maloney has not been in contact with him.
Dalhousie town council holds its next committee meeting on Dec. 11 and public meeting on Dec. 18 and many of Maloney’s supporters are indicating on Facebook they will be there.
Pelletier said they are welcome to attend.
“I have nothing to hide and I will just answer the questions as to the best of our abilities.”
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