The District 10 county councillor felt the chairwoman had interrupted her speaking time during debate Feb. 4, so Patricia Bishop opted to excuse herself and used the public comment period to make her point.
However, the move raised the ire of a former councillor in attendance.
“That is the most disgusting display I’ve ever seen in the council chamber by a councillor,” said Merrill Ward of Coldbrook, a former councillor, following the unprecedented approach taken by Bishop.
Near the end of the Kings County council session, Bishop asked to be excused after council addressed correspondence. Bishop got up from her seat at that time and sat in the public gallery. Prior to council going in-camera on a land negotiation matter, Warden Diana Brothers invited members of the public in attendance to make comments.
Bishop stood and approached the microphone, introducing herself as Patricia Bishop of Port Williams. She said she’d like to share one concern she has about a move to take $10,000 from the Municipal Economic Development Fund for advertising in the Nova Star On Board Magazine, intended to advertise Nova Scotia attractions to visitors coming on the soon to be established Yarmouth ferry.
She said if chief administrative officer Tom MacEwan and council take over control of what is advertised, it might not meet the goals of the business community. The Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce had requested $10,000 from the municipality to advertise in the magazine.
“I didn’t have a chance to finish making my comments,” Bishop added.
Brothers interjected, reminding Bishop that councillors always have the opportunity to call a point of order under Bylaw 64 “if you feel things haven’t been done properly.”
“Your two minutes are up,” Brothers told Bishop.
When Bishop again started speaking, Brothers told her, “You’re out of order.”
Bishop replied that she had been interrupted again.
Ward was next to approach the microphone. He concluded his comments by telling Bishop if she is “that damn upset” about being a councillor, then “I’d suggest she resign.”
Brothers drew the public comment period to a close, although concerned citizen Andrew Steeves was approaching the microphone and was not given the opportunity to speak.
By motion, council has directed the chief administrator to work with organizations like the chamber of commerce, villages, other municipal units and any other partners necessary to create the ads. To be approved by the chief administrator, the ads will highlight the various geographic and historic icons in the Valley.
More to come.