Bylaw enforcement officer subject of investigation resigns

A Saint Andrews bylaw enforcement officer who was the recent subject of an investigation has resigned.

At a council meeting earlier this month, Saint Andrews town council accepted Thomas Clark's resignation from the position of the town's bylaw enforcement officer, thus revoking his employment.

Clark was subjected to an investigation after resident Thomas Wearing claimed he was told to "go suck a sausage" after questioning Clark about his town truck being parked illegally at a no-parking spot. Following this incident, a social media post by Wearing and his wife, Rene, went viral bringing the matter to the town staff's attention.

Town Clerk Paul Nopper stated Clark was assisting someone whose vehicle had stopped working and explained an investigation would be carried out according to the town's procedures, "following our employee handbook and human resource policy."

At that time, the Wearings told the Telegraph-Journal they had also received messages from others in the community who had faced issues with Clark and, in their case, besides the town employee's unpleasant behaviour, they were unsure about the reason behind the illegal parking.

On Oct. 17, Saint Andrews council voted unanimously to accept Clark's resignation in an open session though no details of why Clark resigned were discussed.

The Telegraph-Journal reached out to Nopper, who declined to provide any details.

"The Town of Saint Andrews followed our human resource policy in reviewing of the matters and Mr. Clark put in his resignation," Nopper said.

Attempts to contact Clark for comment were not successful as of press time.

Rene Wearing said she and her husband are happy with the result noting they received messages of support following the initial social media from other members of the community.

"We're certainly satisfied with it, we understand that it was quite a process," she said calling the outcome "a good resolution."

Wearing noted Saint Andrews attracts many tourists during the summers and, due to it being a small town, many of the tourists are not aware of where they can park. She said it is important a bylaw enforcement officer is "friendly" and "not offensive." She also noted council should consider the situation if there are reoccurring complaints about an employee.

Currently, the town has one bylaw enforcement officer and two acting bylaw enforcement staff, according to council.

She said the officer's comment had caught them "off guard" and it disappointed them to see it was coming from someone representing the town, but the way they received support and everything unfolded she said she would like to "compliment on council and the mayor in finally coming to a conclusion here."

"We are glad that we are moving forward and this is going to be my last public statement on it because we don't want to discredit the town, it's a beautiful town," she said. "This situation had to be resolved and it's been resolved and now we are moving on."

Rhythm Rathi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal