ALBERTON -- Town of Alberton administrator Susan Wallace-Flynn furnished proof during the October meeting of Council that mayors of the town have not always waited for council approval before sending out letters on behalf of the town.
The issue came up during the September monthly meeting when concerns were raised about Mayor Michael Murphy sending off letters to government seeking to have the old Maplewood Manor torn down.
At that time councilor David Campbell, a former mayor, indicated letters are mostly approved by council before being sent out.
On Tuesday night councilors and media were presented with a package of meeting minutes and correspondences going back to 1997 to show mayors did not only send letters on advice from council.
The package contained copies of 15 letters sent between 1997 and 2002 while Campbell was mayor; three while Pat Murphy, now an MLA, was mayor and two during Perry Morrell’s term as mayor of the town. Each letter was accompanied by the minutes from the previous meeting to demonstrate no motions were made advising the mayors to write the letters.
Wallace-Flynn’s research was triggered by a letter from Councilor Natasha Dunn in which she chastised the administrator for letting the letters go out, suggesting she would have known the mayor could not make a decision without council’s approval.
“I have been following past practices and in the absence of council policy,” the administrator wrote in her response to Dunn and included in the council package, “I have followed the direction established when the office of the Mayor has requested communication to be sent. The past practice was that letters could be sent as long as there was no financial commitment made by the Mayors.
“If past practice is no longer acceptable I am requesting that council set up a policy in writing for future office practice with regard to future communication if that is what council desires.”
Wallace-Flynn noted in her response that the Director of Municipal Affairs assured her he had no issues with the matter.