Ousted Lunenburg councillor reclaims spots on crucial committees

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Lunenburg councillor who objected to town's private meetings resigns

Lunenburg councillor who objected to town's private meetings resigns

Lunenburg's council and mayor reversed course and reinstalled Coun. Brian Davis on two crucial municipal committees Tuesday night.

Mayor Rachel Bailey and councillors Danny Croft, Ronnie Bachman, Peter Mosher and John McGee removed Davis from all committees on Feb. 14 after he raised questions about council's use of in-camera meetings to conduct public business out of the public eye. Coun. Joseph Carnevale opposed the move against Davis.

Davis said pushing him off all committees — especially the crucial audit and general government committees — hampered his ability to work. Every other councillor in the Nova Scotia town sits on those two committees.

"If I'm not on those, I can't really represent the people of Lunenburg that voted for me," he said Wednesday.

Differing opinions a 'normal part' of democracy

Davis sought a legal opinion, which found the mayor and council may have overstepped their authority in taking him off those two committees. He asked them to reconsider.

"That didn't happen, so we pushed the issue a bit," he said.

The mayor got a lawyer and the two legal sides worked toward an agreement that put him back on the two committees Tuesday night.

"I've been re-appointed to those important committees and I'm looking forward to going to work again," Davis said.

He said having different opinions was a "normal part" of democracy and he intends to work toward making Lunenburg's government more transparent.

"There's starting to be a change. It's for that open and transparent and engaged government that I think is really important. Probably everybody will work toward that — we'll just go a little slower at it. But I believe it will happen," he said.

'Happy to move forward'

Mayor Rachel Bailey declined to explain why she and two councillors threw him off the committees, but said her legal counsel advised her to take the course of re-appointing Davis.

"We're happy to move forward," she said. Asked why he wasn't restored to the other committees, she said it was "irrelevant," because councillors get the final vote at the council table

"Coun. Davis and council are happy to put that chapter behind us," she said.

A statement from the town said Davis could be re-appointed to other committees in future. The motion reinstalling Davis said the two sides "have disagreed publicly in regards each other's conduct in the past" but "wish to work productively in the future."