During a recent regular council meeting, held on Tuesday night, Aug. 8, Coun. Mike Power brought forth the subject of the town’s audit report.
Power’s choice to bring forward the report came with a request to make the report public, noting that there were several issues within, despite the report only being 37 per cent complete.
“There are issues there, several issues, and it’s only 37 per cent done,” said Power during the meeting. “That doesn’t look very good on us, and there are a few things in here that need explaining.”
Newly appointed councillor Joanne Wells said she felt there were no issues with the report, which was brought to council about a month ago.
Wells questioned Power about what issues he had with the report, to which Power explained that it wasn’t just his own issues – it was the residents’ issues as well, noting that they are all tax-paying citizens who he felt deserved to know the details of the report.
“If you have concerns, then bring them up with the proper people,” Wells responded, “but if they aren’t actual issues, then don’t call them that. Be careful with how you word things.”
Following a heated debate among council members and the town clerk, Power left his seat at the table and exited the building, after which the remaining points of the meeting were addressed within several minutes.
Council ultimately came to a decision that they would contact the town’s auditor with questions, hoping to hold a teleconference with him to address the subject and any issues within the report. This was followed later in the meeting by a motion to make the report public, which was seconded by Coun. Wells. This motion was carried.
According to Power, however, council had originally planned to get together for an hour prior to the meeting to discuss the report. No such meeting was held.
The Compass caught up with Power Wednesday morning.
“I’ve been on council now for four years, and I came here to fix trouble, not cause it. We’ve got enough trouble as it is,” Power said. “I think the public deserves to know what’s on that report and why there are so many issues in it. I want my concerns answered.”
Power also noted that he hopes to have the issues within the report solved before municipal elections are held in September.
“We can’t just keep pushing it off for the next council to handle. It needs to be solved here and now.”
As of Wednesday morning, no date has been set to meet with the town’s auditor, though Power noted he was awaiting a call later in the day.
This story was edited from an earlier version to further clarify the public availability of the auditor’s report and a councillor's views on making it publicly available.