DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Just when the public thought the proposed firearms discharge by-law was out, Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger pulled it back in, asking for additional time to investigate the matter at council's meeting on the evening of Monday, June 23.
As councillors began to debate the final touches of the by-law after more than a year of debate, Councillor Ballinger sought to have additional time to meet with affected residents, and requested that the matter be tabled until council's next meeting, on Monday, July 14.
"This is a 50-year-old gun club, and we have to do what's right for the entire community," Councillor Ballinger explained. "I want to talk to all of the people out there and find out if this is about noise or the hours of operation. I don't want to see anyone put in a position that they can't get out of."
Councillors were split in a recorded vote to table the matter, with Councillor Ballinger, Jacob Mantle (Ward 4) and Gord Highet (Ward 5) all voting in favour, while Bev Northeast (Ward 1), Pat Molloy (Ward 2) and Pat Mikuse (Ward 3) cast votes in opposition. Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor would eventually break the deadlock with a positive vote to table the matter for an additional three weeks, although the mayor did note disappointment that Councillor Ballinger had waited until the "23rd hour" to make his proposal, and pledged that the matter will be resolved at council's next meeting.
"I understand your frustrations, and I'm disappointed that the councillor didn't do this prior to this late time," commented Mayor O'Connor. "There might not be any changes, it's got to come back here and it's got to be dealt with in July. We're not giving anymore time. If we have to sit here for 24 hours to get this damned thing done, then that's what we'll do."