Story on town had errors: mayor

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The Telegram reported on Nov. 17 (“Town embroiled in legal dispute”) that “The municipality and Murray’s Pond developer are countersuing each other in Supreme Court.” That is not correct.

The town is not “embroiled” in any legal dispute where it is suing or countersuing anyone. In addition to that error, the article is poorly written and there is no justification for how information is introduced.

On page one, it states that I own property bordering on the subdivision. Why is this relevant? What is it supposed to suggest?

Adjacent land does not make a person in conflict of interest; there has to be some monetary gain or loss to the resident about that adjacent land. There is not. There is no conflict of interest.

Then, on page four, the reporter provides a photo of the land where the stop work order was placed.

A logical question for him to ask was if this land borders my land. It doesn’t. Writers can’t just throw words on paper. They must provide a logical or psychological connection. When they don’t, then readers do, based on their biases.

Reporters must also understand conflict of interest regulations and why and how stop work orders and injunctions are issued.

In his follow-up article there is still confusion. For a councillor to be in conflict of interest, the issue must be discussed or voted on in council or committee. Emails don’t cut it.

The email which the reporter decides to quote was a personal matter and involved several residents who alleged that damage had occurred through blasting and was directed to the blasting company, by way of the developer, as the residents could not find the name of the blasting company.

Municipalities are under a lot of stress these days with limited funding (a topic The Telegram could pursue) and are trying to do their best for their citizens. This is the third time in two weeks we have had a negative article against the town — the first for this council — with incorrect or disconnected information.

We have had over a dozen good news stories in the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s lately — from state-of-the-art park upgrades to being chosen as the town for the kickoff of Fire Prevention Week, but we never saw The Telegram then. The People’s Paper seems to favour a few disgruntled people connected with our town.

William Fagan


Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s

Organizations: Supreme Court

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Recent comments

  • Jordan
    November 26, 2012 - 07:45

    After reading this letter from the mayor of Portugal Cove-St. Phillips and the comments posted here it appears that the mayor has issues with everyone who asks questions. The telegram reporter, the telegram itself and last but not least any individual who asks questions or is critical. Some of the comments also suggest that the town council is also somewhat lax or attentive to concerns from its citizens. Just an observation about ratios to...........there have been 8 coments posted here, all somewhat critical of the mayor and council. If a provincial story garnered the same rate of response based on population (population of the town verses the provincial population) then there would be about 2357 people posting comments on the provincial story. Maybe the mayor and council should look objectively at their performance?

  • Another Cynic
    November 25, 2012 - 20:58

    The mayor always has to be correct and so his attack on the Telegram story. And Harvey is correct that the good news is circulated in the social newsletter published by the Town. Lots of social news but little Town business.

  • A Skeptic
    November 24, 2012 - 16:41

    He that protests loudly about an injustice that was committed against him most often causes much doubt that an injustice actually took place.

  • BlogDiss
    November 24, 2012 - 09:18

    When someone protests so heavily as the mayor of PCSP has done it makes me skeptical. I tend not to believe them because they insist too strongly that something is not true.

  • Craig
    November 24, 2012 - 09:02

    Mr Fagan has it wrong as usual. He is obviously schooled in the same spin as our provincial government politicians. He said "The People’s Paper seems to favour a few disgruntled people connected with our town." The truth is, in PCSP we have a LOT of disgruntled people who have grown tired of a a condesending council

  • Harvey
    November 24, 2012 - 08:57

    Peyton........ there are at least 2 of us who have experienced the condescending attitude and I dare say we are far from being the exception. Property assessments just increased by 50% and if the current council follows its demonstrated mantra they are surely drooling and our tax bills, this year, will be stained with saliva.

  • Harvey
    November 24, 2012 - 08:51

    The mayor's dozen good news stories are found in the propaganda tabloid circulated by town council. Considering the source from whence they came one could hardly consider them "news". On the other hand, in the last month there have been dogs roaming in front of town hall, a roaming dog caused a car accident on Bennetts Road, 2 rothweilers roam sstreets in the Dan's Road - Dogberry Hill Road area and a roaming dog became trapped in a otter trap. The town councils only response to all of those GOOD news stories is to do some research to get traps banned. Complaints about dogs roaming and barking nightime from ALL areas of town get no action nor does complaints about street lighting that is not working receive corrective action. Taxpayers still pay for it but the lights are still out. A simmilar scenario is obviously occurring within council chambers however it is clear that while the lights are on, there is clearly no one home!

  • Skeptical Cynic
    November 24, 2012 - 08:33

    Please Mayor Fagan, the public doesn't require bad-news stories, or good-news stories, to formulate opinions. The public just requires the facts.

  • Peyton
    November 24, 2012 - 08:20

    I dared to question Mayor Fagan some time ago regarding the absence of playgrounds in Portugal Cove - St. Philip's and received the same sort of condescending response as above. Municipal elections in Newfoundland occur on September 24, 2013.