© Guardian photo
Deputy Mayor Corey Frizzell, left, and Mayor Barney Fullerton take part in a forum with Cornwall businesses Tuesday.
The mood was less than festive at Cornwall town council Wednesday as accusations flew that Councillor Parker Beer isn't contributing much time or dedication to his public service.
Councillor Corey Frizzell suddenly raised the issue at the end of the regular monthly council meeting, saying that Beer, a member of the town's finance committee, hasn't been seen at a meeting for ages.
“I would like to remind Councillor Beer that he is a member of that committee,” said Frizzell. “I think he has attended one or two committee meetings since 2010.
“It has come to my attention that Councillor Beer has attended nine meetings in 2011,” said Frizzell. “That equals out to about $500 per meeting.”
Frizzell said that he and other councillors can attend upwards of 16 meetings per month, more than 100 per year which is part of being an elected member of the council.
“I understand that Councillor Beer is a truck driver,” said Frizzell. “He's on the road quite a bit but I would encourage him to attend as many meetings as he can when he is in Cornwall.”
“This fella, and you, hold the meetings when I'm not here,” said Beer in response, nodding towards Mayor Barney Fullerton.
“Councillor Beer knows that is untrue,” said Frizzell.
After the meeting Frizzell contacted The Guardian with data showing that Beer attended just one finance committee meeting all this year and just seven of 14 public council meetings.
“Councillor Beer attended eight meetings (of 26) in 2012,” said Frizzell. “I think that is unacceptable. He's attended meetings and got up and left. The level of dedication that Councillor Beer is showing towards council is really unacceptable.
“There is little that council, or even the Mayor can do to improve attendance,” said Frizzell.