Councillor Speaks Out on Walking Out Of Council Meeting

Councillor Jeff Earle is speaking out saying he walked out of council's finance committee meeting earlier this week because he's frustrated over the costs of social projects, like the Brockville Tunnel and arena.

"I'm looking at what I consider to be about $38-million in deficit spending here, and I thought it was pretty important," he says. "I was getting over-ruled about whether it was not in the agenda, but the frustration just boiled over."

As 104.9 JR FM reported earlier this week, the tunnel is facing a $2-million short-fall, which will put a pause on phase two of the project until the money can be fundraised.

Earle says although he's happy to have money go towards tourism projects, like the tunnel, he would like more of a focus on infrastructure projects, like reviewing the state of the water tower.

"If you wanna get something approved put a lower number on it and then act surprised when you get a bigger bill. Perhaps that's what's happened with the tunnel I don't know, but what I do know is, almost any twin-pad arena that I've ever heard of in the past five years has been $25-million to build, not $15[-million]." 

He claims he has been shut down a number of times during meetings.

Mayor Henderson says he does not know where Earle's claims of $38-million deficits are coming from and said Earle's had a number of opportunities to raise the issue.

"We debated those in the budget process, he has been on the winning side of some discussions and the losing side of some discussions. But you have to respect the will of the majority of council. If I'm on the losing side of the discussion, then we move on with the discussion. That's the way the system works."

Mayor Henderson says walking out was Earle's right, but the Chair has a right to demand that discussions stays on topic.