Without prejudice: Greetings Everyone: For those of you wondering if Helen and I have fallen off the edge of the earth, we are simply enjoying our “Golden Years” by spending five and one-half months in South Texas and the balance of the year at our home beside Lake Erie…Life is Good!

Now for the reason I am getting in touch with each of you. Fred Morison has sent me a copy of David McClung’s email with the attachment copy of the letter he has personally delivered to the County Administration Building and I wish to make it clear that I find no fault with it whatsoever.  In fact, it was very respectively and professionally prepared.

Having said this, I will assume that most of you have read the editorial by Shawn Smith of the Sachem entitled “Councillor Morison meeting causes a stir”.  In it, you will note that I accepted the responsibility of handing out four “invitation only” notices to the meeting and I guess there is no need to dwell any further on my oversight as I apologized to Fred at the onset of it.

Prior to leaving for Texas last fall, I was aware there were some folks who were displeased with decisions being made by council relating to the administration building, museum and the library, but I wasn’t fully aware of how strongly they felt until my return in April.  Having said this, I was alarmed by the rumours and innuendos that were surfacing from Cayuga.

As a result, I contacted Fred and asked him what was going on and he subsequently forwarded seventy emails to me, mostly from three individuals.  After reading all seventy, I found that, while a little repetitious, the majority of the them contained personal concerns which I could accept with no problem; however, quite a few were simply “off the wall”.

Following my reading of the emails, I spoke with two local ladies who each informed me that they had attended a meeting from which they came away feeling very sorry for Fred. They said the whole atmosphere was very caustic and they felt personally intimidated and afraid to speak up for fear of reprisals.

After weighing what I had read and heard, I prompted Fred to host a monitored meeting where people could speak openly without being intimidated.  He agreed with me and the Lions Community Centre in Fisherville was booked with myself acting as the monitor.  I must say in all truthfulness, I approached the meeting as a learning experience for myself and therefore, attended it with an open mind.

Ted Swent and I talked about it beforehand and this is exactly what I told him.  After it was adjourned, I was bolstered by the positive comments that came forth and the support being directed to Fred.

With regard to Fred chairing another meeting, I personally can’t see any reason for one at this time, other than for the purpose of giving some individuals an opportunity to vent his or her negative viewpoints.  Fred did say, knowing what he knows now there are some things he would have approached differently, but he is adamant that he was operating in good faith and has filled me in on several instances where he was successful in obtaining and saving monies for the county.

Having said that, he told me that he would be more than happy to sit down with David on a one to one and discuss these.  David, I’ll leave that ball in your court for consideration.

I quite often remember a conversation that Toby Barrett and I had when I was chairing CayugaFest.  Toby said; “Clayt you know a lot people and a lot of people know you. I would like to see you become involved in politics”.  My response was; “Toby, you couldn’t pay me enough to become a politician.  It’s tough enough being an active volunteer, because no matter what you do, there is always an individual who will find fault with something you did or didn’t do”…..How true!

There is one more rumour that I heard and this has apparently come through a medium that “should be outlawed” and I’m referring to Facebook.  Supposedly, Fred Morison has been labelled as a liar and an individual who is only serving on council for his own personal gain.

While I acknowledge free speech, I will go on record as outwardly opposing these slanderous accusations.  After spending a lot of time with him and Jill, I have learned that his values and mine coincide.  We both share the dream of seeing Cayuga becoming an awe inspiring showcase, not only for those living in Haldimand County, but for those visiting us for the first time.

In closing, if it seems like I’m being the mouthpiece for Fred Morison, so be it.  At least I’m happy to know the negativity I’m seeing and hearing is not coming from the majority of our residents.

I feel the time has come to start looking at positives and stop dwelling on the negatives and the first step for those utilizing Facebook would be to wait a day before sending a message.  You might be surprised what you typed after you waited.  You never know who might be reading your assertions.  It could well be someone who is considering a move to Cayuga and I suggest they would think twice about such a decision knowing it is a town divided.

All the best to everyone and have a great summer.

Clayt Spears