Paul White

Murray Harbour Community Council held a special meeting last Saturday morning where they rejected a letter of resignation from Mayor Paul White. The letter was submitted on Friday and on Saturday morning Mayor White said he regretted submitting it. He did not attend the special meeting.

Graphic file photo

Murray Harbour Community Council declined to accept the resignation of Mayor Paul White at an in-camera meeting Saturday morning.

His letter of resignation was submitted Friday morning and he did not attend the special meeting the following day.

Mayor White said, in an interview with The Graphic, he had made a couple of mistakes in his role as mayor but his actions were solely in the best interest of the community.

“My heart is here in Murray Harbour and it always will be,” he said. “I grew up here, this is my home.”

One of the misplays Mayor White referenced pertained to a newsletter advertising Canada Day activities at the community centre.

At a public meeting earlier in the week Councillor Debbie Shea chastised the mayor for having additional copies of the newsletter printed without consulting herself or council first.

There allegedly was a miscalculation in the number of copies needed to distribute to village residents and surrounding areas.

Mayor White said in hindsight he should have taken the matter to council but “it’s a learning process. I never did this (mayor’s job) before.”

The issue involved about 20 copies of the newsletter and the printing was out-sourced to a Montague business.

The mayor also admitted to breaking the rules in the process of hiring of a summer student.

Mayor White said his involvement was solely in the best interest of the village and what he felt was a breakdown in communication and action on the matter compounded it.

Mayor White was elected in November 2018 in a significant win that saw him receive close to triple the number of votes over the closest contender. Three other residents vied for the position.

The mayor said his initial visions for the community remains constant and that is to give residents the opportunity to play an active role in the workings of the village and ensure their voices are heard.

Mayor White said he immediately regretted resigning from his post and admitted he should have taken more time to think it over. He will be back in the mayor’s chair at the village’s August meeting. Traditionally council does not meet in August but a special meeting is needed to discuss grants and gas tax. This is open to the public. The meeting starts at 7 pm.

In an unrelated matter Chief Administrative Officer Mark Tiller, who was hired in the late fall of 2017 and worked three days per week in the village office has also submitted his resignation.

Mr Tiller is a retired minister who moved to the community with his wife in 2017. He replaced Sylvan De Lafontaine as CAO.

Mr Tiller was not available for comment prior to this week’s press deadline.

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