Photo Credit: Youtube | Village of Tahsis

Tahsis Tug-of-War

“This was by far my worst day in local government in the last five years, tweeted Deputy Mayor Sarah Fowler of the kurfuffle.

Tensions are high on Tahsis Council after censuring of Councillor

Tahsis Council may have well been held in the middle of a UFC ring for all the fighting that was going on in the last meeting.

Tensions have been high between governing officials since the elections, and the last few weeks have only escalated.

The reasons why are interesting, to say the least.

The chaotic meeting was the first since most of the council voted together to censure Councillor Douglas Elliot.

It was a rare move in response to his recent actions toward the rest of the council.

Elliot was elected last October for the first time, while the Mayor and the rest of the council were all reelected as incumbents.

Since he was elected, relations have been pretty strained between the Councillors.

Elliot accused two councillors of being in a conflict of interest over a new fire hall, a charge he has since withdrawn. He also discussed lawsuits and unresolved human rights complaints filed against the village over a sewage dispute. He called the chief administrative officer an “expensive nightmare and “completely out of control.”

One thing is for sure; he’s certainly not the type to hold his tongue.

In an email to CBC News, of the rest of his council members, he said, “The level of fascism is unbelievable.” 

Those are pretty heavy accusations.

The final straw came after he privately funded a series of publically distributed mail-outs and emails.

According to council meeting notes, in notices distributed to residents throughout Tahsis, Elliott “made defamatory comments about the council, Councillor Sarah Fowler, Councillor Cheryl Northcott, Mayor Davis and Mark Tatchell, the Chief Administrative Officer.”

The claims were inflammatory. One was titled “What the Mayor Does Not Want You to Know.”

While this may create division among those he works with, some residents are on his side.

This resulted in raucous behaviour in the March 10th council meeting.

As Deputy Mayor Sarah Fowler put it – “Tensions are high due to a loud organized minority who feel as though their concerns have been ignored,” she wrote. 

Essentially, Elliot’s supporters are not happy about him being censured, and they expressed this fervently during the meeting.

Fowler reportedly lost her temper after a vocal resident continued talking past the 2-minute time they had been allotted to speak.

You can get the general idea from this video.

After some continued petty and childish name-calling, one member of the public remarked;

“We’re sitting in the Kangaroo Court of Tahsis.”

Whether or not that is true depends on which side of the dispute you are on, but it’s fair to say the tug-or-war in Tahsis shows no signs of being resolved anytime soon.