Read resigns from CRDA board

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Relationship with fellow councillors negatively impacted

Coun. Gerald Read has resigned as Cumberland County's council representative on the CRDA board of directors.

AMHERST – Cumberland County no longer has a council representative on the Cumberland Regional Development Authority.

Gerald Read confirmed Wednesday has resigned his position on the authority’s board of directors.

“The recent events at CRDA and in particular the findings of the ombudsman investigation have resulted in a situation where by relationship with my fellow councillors is being negatively impacted,” Read said, quoting the resignation letter he sent to Warden Keith Hunter. “The mutual trust and respect that have built over the past several years needs to continue so that we can be a cohesive and effective council.”

Read, who served three years as the chair of CRDA’s board, said he was never away of any wrongdoing or irregular financial practices within the organization and was surprised to learn the ombudsman’s office was conducting an investigation.

“There were no red flags raised and I had no reason to believe there was anything wrong,” Read said. “I was very surprised when the investigation was going on and was surprised at the report.”

Read said he remains a strong supporter of the regional development authority model and welcomes a review being completed by the province. He said CRDA has had many success stories including Thinker’s Lodge, Cape Chignecto, the Pugwash master plan and the Joggins Fossil Centre and the cliffs’ UNESCO designation.

“I believe there have been a number of positive successes at CRDA over the period that I have been council’s representative on that board,” he said. “However, given the current circumstances, I feel that is in our respective best interests to step down.”

Earlier this month, provincial ombudsman Dwight Bishop completed his investigation of the regional development authority, slamming its financial practices and the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Department’s oversight of the organization.

Bishop called for a forensic audit, saying invoices were created and used to obtain funding from the department without direct expenditures. He said the actions undermine the accountability process.

The county still has two citizen appointees on the board and Read expects the municipality will eventually fill his position.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Regional Development Authority, CRDA board, Joggins Fossil Centre UNESCO Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Department

Geographic location: Cumberland County

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Recent comments

  • Gavin MacLeod
    August 28, 2012 - 11:55

    While Read’s sudden resignation smacks of cowardice from a supposed local leader (i.e., normally, doesn't a good captain go down with the ship?), it also is the move of a politician savvy enough to know he needs to distance himself from the CRDA board well before the October municipal elections and then pray the voters have short memories. However, if there are no other declared candidates in his district (and, of course, only if he is planning to run again), it’s likely he’ll be acclaimed back into his council seat anyway, regardless of what the forensic audit turns up about the knowledge he did/did not have of the CRDA financial goings on.

  • jr
    August 27, 2012 - 08:09

    Free Thinker - If you only knew. I am one of those people working in that line of work and I know what it is like to only ever hear about the bad things and never the good. But, when in such a position as he held, it is your choice to do the job and if you don't do it right or your subordinates do something wrong, then you are still responsible and I am sorry but if the shoe fits, then you know the rest of it from there. If he was so innocent then why give up so easily? I try to look at both sides but it appears that you do not and if you are friends with this person, then maybe you should get all of the facts before replying.

    • honker
      August 28, 2012 - 12:21

      Well jr has the poor fellow guilty already, apparently on some convaluted logic and hearsay.

  • 'Free thinker'
    August 24, 2012 - 19:49

    It is sad when folks like to kick things when they're down. I challenge you all to put yourself in the shoes of a public sevant and receive little recognition when you do good, but have the hellish force of the self-proclaimed righteous hordes call for your hide when there is a hint of scandal. To quote Monty Python, "Nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition."

  • WAITING GAME
    August 23, 2012 - 13:48

    I can relate to him not having knowledge of any wrong doing - however, as a person in a position of trust and safeguarding public funds, he should have known. That the person running the organization chose not to lay all the cards on the table doesn't excuse his and the Board's lack of due diligence. They should all resign and the Executive Director put on leave until the outcome of the forensic audit is complete. Why is there no accountabliity?

  • Warren Bertrand
    August 23, 2012 - 08:23

    I'm so sick and tired of these Crda types trying to pass themselves off as successful. Joggins is in the hole financially,and Cape Chignecto is swimming in debt. The "Thinkers Lodge" doesn't even belong to the people of the province, its owned by the Eaton family in California but yet CRDA is pouring millions into this privnately owned fiasco.

  • jr
    August 23, 2012 - 07:05

    I am sorry but to all of a sudden up and resign in my books is a way to hide from things that may be found. I am not saying that this person is guilty of anything but just the fact that it appears that way. Hopefully things will get cleared up soon.

  • Jason
    August 23, 2012 - 07:04

    Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan....Bravo Gerald Read! "That boy's just a walk away joe"

  • run and hide
    August 23, 2012 - 01:49

    you say you didn't know what was going on . wasn't that your job to over see the organization now it comes to light you run and hide great leader you lost my vote stand up take responsibility

  • Libertarian Librarian
    August 22, 2012 - 21:37

    Who knew Sgt. Shultz of Hogan's Heroes was a councillor here. I saw NOTHING! Good to know we have such stellar oversight on tax dollars.

  • know it all
    August 22, 2012 - 20:01

    Run Gerald run - CRDA will not exist after the audit - fact