Don’t blame us

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

To hear some veteran St. John’s councillors speak last week, you’d think they’d been stabbed in the heart.

“I’ll give you a fight on that,” Mayor Dennis O’Keefe snorted, when newbie councillor Jonathan Galgay rose during the weekly meeting and suggested the old council may have made a poor decision.

One by one, O’Keefe went around the chamber, allowing other incumbents to take similar offence.

“I resent the intimation that the previous council made a mistake,” said Coun. Tom Hann.

O’Keefe prevented Galgay from uttering a single other word until all who so desired had castigated him.

Galgay’s crime?

He had talked to residents of Quidi Vidi

Village and discovered several were plagued with illegal parking by patrons of the new restaurant at Mallard Cottage. The previous council had exempted the business from requirements to provide sufficient spaces.

O’Keefe even questioned whether Galgay had his facts right. Maybe it was just one or two troublemakers. Who knows? Galgay apparently hadn’t talked to city staff, or to restaurant co-owner Todd Perrin.

Well, it turns out there was a problem. And it came to light this week, when about 50 people, including Perrin, attended the public meeting.

One by one, Quidi Vidi residents described frequent struggles keeping restaurant patrons out of their driveways. Rude comments and gestures have been exchanged and police have been called. It wasn’t some made-up controversy after all.

There’s another side to this story.

The previous council was eager to facilitate the conversion of Mallard Cottage. It’s a treasured heritage building, and Perrin’s vision of a restaurant gave it renewed life and was worth supporting. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that.

Perrin was asked by a couple of people at this week’s meeting to apologize. He refused, and he had every reason to. He was given the all-clear for his establishment and had no reason to think anything was amiss. And, he says, no one had ever brought the parking problem to his attention.

But the previous council was wrong to

cavalierly kick the can down the road when

such parking woes were inevitable.

It’s true Galgay may have jumped the gun to criticize council first — even if his assessment was right. O’Keefe lectured him like a headmaster at the time: “If there is an issue revolving around parking, what we need to do first is find out, one, if there is a serious issue; two, if there is, how extensive is it; and three, once we know that, then we can deal with it sensibly and properly.”

Fair enough.

But the umbrage-taking in the chambers last week was just a little rich. Heaven forbid anyone question the wisdom of previous councils.

After all, nothing’s ever gone wrong in this city, has it?

Geographic location: Quidi Vidi Village

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • mainlander
    March 07, 2014 - 12:00

    Make no wonder it's always the same people who run for office in Nfld. Young people don't want to put up with the old boys club BS. Good for Galgay to actually work for the constituents.

    • jeremy
      March 07, 2014 - 14:31

      It has been reported that the resturant owner complied with city rules for heritage properties 2 parking spaces. Bet Galagy won't complain about city rules that allow a council member to take a leave to run provincially

  • Guy Incognito
    March 07, 2014 - 10:16

    "His worship" probably just doesn't like being questioned by a youngster like Galgay. Even though he was doing his job. Mabye if we had more like Galgay bringing forward problems to this council it would be better. God knows Doc doesn't exactly have his finger on the pulse of the city. Pathetic.

  • Duffy
    March 07, 2014 - 09:50

    I would suggest poor supervision at the top (Mayor) and the "good ole boy" network is doing well in the city. The people have an opportunity to change by just voting every incumbant out of office - every time - until they listen to the voters.

    • Guy Incognito
      March 07, 2014 - 10:42

      Senior citizens are the only ones who vote. And who do senior citizens vote for? Other senior citizens. Change is scary. New young ideas?? Not on my watch!

  • Mick on Gower
    March 07, 2014 - 09:09

    You also fail to mention the irony that the man who helped Jonathon Galgay and encouraged him to run for council was his uncle Frank Galgay, a former councillor who voted for the Mallard Cottage project. So young Galgay would have known about the issue before he was elected I suggest to you.

  • carogers
    March 07, 2014 - 09:06

    Well this explains a lot to me. I have been writing the Mayor with regard to problems of parking in my neighbourhood. With our public transportation system not being able to keep to their schedule due to drivers parking where every they want. My co workers at the Avalon Mall are constantly arriving late for work. I have written two letters detailing where the issues are with days and times of this issue. Nothing was done. His response back consisted of one line," I have forwarded your concerns to the appropriate department". This Mayor is not interested in the residents concerns. To get upset at Mr. Galgay for speaking to the residents explains his response to me. He does not give a $^#&.

    • Guy Incognito
      March 07, 2014 - 10:40

      Doc only responds to issues raised in the media. He loves attention. He is out of touch with residents and isn't interested in issues that don't involve cruise ships or oil companies. I didn't vote for him.

    • Jeremy
      March 07, 2014 - 12:43

      Doc loves the media attention? Are you kidding? Galgay is a total media hound. Most of the time what he has to say is useless and only intended to get his mug on the news

    • Guy Incognito
      March 07, 2014 - 13:33

      "Most of the time what he (Galgay) has to say is useless and only intended to get his mug on the news" Are you kidding? Galgay is a newcomer. Doc has been giving us his useless, uninformed opinion for years on everything from population forecasts to moose herds.

  • Joe
    March 07, 2014 - 07:29

    You left out that there is a rule that even councilors can not criticize staff or their recommendations. Also I don't know why St. John's even has a municipal plan when they ignore it just about every time they make a decision.