Stellarton councillor says no vote took place to limit police choices

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Stellarton Councillor George Megeney believes the Police Review Board decided in camera to narrow the town’s policing options to two instead of four.

Stellarton Police

He stated that the two top choices picked had been to stick with their own police force or join with Westville. He then organized a meeting between the mayors of Stellarton and Westville and the Town Clerk and the CAO of each respectively.

But Denise Taylor said no such decision was every made and other councilors backed up her view. She said they had talked about what they thought at the present moment but said that several councilors including herself said they could not make a decision at the time because they didn’t have all the information.

She requested a letter be sent to all those who had submitted proposals for policing the town of Stellarton and inform them that all options were still being looked at.

Megeney who chairs the police review board which has been tasked with investigating what option the town of Stellarton should go with for policing in the future, said he’d call a meeting of the group to get a consensus of what really happened in the meeting.

Later in the council meeting Monday night, Taylor requested that the town start taking minutes in the in camera meetings to prevent situations like what happened at the police review meeting. She cited the ombudsman as saying that that was the town should be doing.

Town solicitor Hector MacIsaac was quick to disagree, saying that the municipal government act clearly states that detailed minutes shouldn’t be taken during in camera meetings. The only details that should be recorded are who was there, what the topic and the time.

He said taking minutes is a good way to get sued.

“Don’t do it. Don’t care what the ombudsman says. He’s wrong.”

Geographic location: Stellarton, Westville

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Recent comments

  • richard rae
    March 16, 2014 - 16:13

    in my honest opion canada should have the rcmp policeing .the westville new glassow. rcmp already polices the town of stellartons aways.

  • Another Stellarton Resident
    March 13, 2014 - 11:26

    Hello. Me again. Would I be wrong in thinking that any recommendation coming from a town committee would/should then go back to council for debate & vote? All this taking place at a regularly scheduled public meeting of course. It certainly appears as if Mayor Megeney, acting Mayor Gennoe & Clerk Eaton missed that particular part of the process and forged ahead. Never let democracy get in the way of your good idea.

  • Safety First
    March 13, 2014 - 00:17

    First of all George Megeney stacked the police commission with people he could control and he did not want Denise or Judith on the commission, because questions may be asked. The commission chair is also too close to this situation, so complete Transparency will be hard to come by, maybe he should step down for the sake of the process, so some sort of credibility could be saved. The entire process has been flawed from the start, from New Glasgow not getting all of the information and the RCMP getting everything. Having a Part Time Police Chief between two towns and all the problems that come with that, decreased leadership which could lead to command oversights and issues. You cannot serve two masters, and eight councillors The other issues is what to do with all those police ranks from Inspector, Staff Sergeant, to 8 Sergeants. The other issue is both towns have No Police Dog Service, No Major Crime Unit, No I Dent, No SWAT team, all of which New Glasgow Have. No one man should be able to make a decision such as this, due to the fact, he may not like the NGPD very much. To a reasonable person the decision is clear, however. If Ross Landry were re-elected we would be policed by the RCMP via a district command, with a possibility of a 1 hour Waite time for a response. This to me would of been unacceptable, thank God that past. The town of Stellarton is the laughing stock of Pictou County and Northeastern Nova Scotia (Little Toronto you might say.) If this is all too much for Joe Geno to handle maybe he should step down, call a byelection or have a public Plebiscite on the police matter. On another note I here that the New Town Engineer is making a lot of friends from the town employees to the public ....Not!

  • Terry Megeney
    March 12, 2014 - 17:47

    Personally, I believe that if George Megeney said that the decision was made. Then it was made. Others may have changed their point of view, but if you know Mr. Megeney, he would never try to do something that wasn't vetted many times. Having said that, I don't agree with the decision to use either our own police force or a force combined with Westville. The only options should be a fullt municipal force or the RCMP.

  • Heather
    March 12, 2014 - 14:36

    It sounds like an internal struggle for power to me. Grow the heck up and stop acting like little kids in a playground. This is affecting our lives and the lives of our families!!

  • Marlene Wells
    March 12, 2014 - 11:18

    George Megeney needs to step off the police review board committee. He should never have been allowed to be the head of it in the first place. This is a cover up, and unless the tax payers of Stellarton start asking questions it will be too late to do anything about it.

  • Concerned citizen
    March 12, 2014 - 10:48

    I have alarm bells going off in my head!!! What is not beig said here? I think it's time the citizens of Stellarton be informed and be given an opportunity to be part of this process. I also couldn't agree more-there is a major conflict of interest. I think it's time to do the right thing George step down from this position and council you need to be transparent with this big decision!

  • Hugh Muir
    March 11, 2014 - 13:21

    As a citizen of the town of Stellarton, I feel compelled to respond to this story. As I understand it, the only topic being discussed at this secret meeting was the issue of the direction of policing for the town. The seriousness of the issue would cause us to believe that anyone there would be paying very close attention to what is happening yet we see from Chairman Megeney's comments (I quote) "believes the Police Review Board decided in camera to narrow the town’s policing options to two instead of four." Because he believed that was what was said, he then organized a meeting with Westville town officials. It would appear that Stellarton's mayor & town clerk also "believed" this was what came out of the secret meeting because they participated in the meeting with Westville officials, whom I will suggest are innocent pawns in this matter. Logic would suggest that one should require more than a belief in what had been discussed & perhaps some consultation with other committee members would have lead to some confirmation of what was actually said. Also, in order to effect such a change in policing, the NS Department of Justice has to sign off first. What information has the Dept. of Justice received or will they be receiving? Citizens & the DOJ might possibly believe this information from the chair except for the fact that Councillor Taylor states that no such decision was ever made & this has been confirmed by other councillors. I will suggest that citizens of Stellarton now have a serious problem. Who are we to believe & what are we to believe? The facts of this story certainly provide me, personally, with enough information to arrive at a logical conclusion as to what is fact & what is fiction. Others can come to their own conclusions. In regards to this particular story, there is an old saying that comes to my mind, "Disregarding what reality is (i.e. truth) can lead to undesired or tragic consequences."

    • Stellarton Resident
      March 11, 2014 - 13:47

      Very well said Hugh. I agree with you 100%. People should never make assumptions!

  • Another Stellarton Resident
    March 11, 2014 - 11:28

    Stellarton Councillor George Megeney believes the Police Review Board decided in camera to narrow the town’s policing options to two instead of four.......................He "believes" that was the decision. Imagine, the only thing the group is talking about & you can't positively remember what happened. To quote something in an old Shakespeare play, "there is something rotten in Denmark (ok in this case Stellarton)............At least there are some councillors who appear to be doing what is best for the whole town & do not appear to be agenda driven.

  • Allan Fraser
    March 11, 2014 - 10:14

    I'm not a fan of "ïn-camera "meetings. They seem to be too covert, too secretive. Council members are elected officials. Elected by, and to serve, the public that has elected them and pays their salaries. To have "secret"meetings is to hide facts from those who elected the officials. And thereby have EVERY right to know what is happening at council

    March 11, 2014 - 08:49

    T o continue with the present force or joining or joining Westville is one and the same; No improvement! Fitst of all a former Stellarton police officer should not be the head of the town police commission or the head of the review board, this is an obviuous conflict of interest. The Stellarton Police needs real change and it should start at the top.