Several Sackville residents have contributed $1,461 so far to a GoFundMe campaign for Town Councillor Bruce Phinney.
The money is meant to replace the salary he is losing after his fellow councillors suspended his pay for two months on the recommendation of an outside investigator.
According to Phinney, Trisha Perry of the Saint John consulting firm Resonance Inc. called for the two-month suspension after finding he violated Council’s Code of Conduct by making unsupported comments about the town’s hiring policy as well as arguing that university students from outside the area should vote in the places they come from.
“I saw a comment where someone said if there was a go fund me they would support it and three others agreed so I thought why not let’s see what we can do to help Bruce,” says Wendy Alder who launched the campaign earlier this week.
“I feel that other councillors have made comments equivalent or worse than what Bruce said and don’t feel that he should have been sanctioned,” Alder added.
“I also don’t feel that council should be able to take pay away from a peer and then expect them to still have to work, that’s not legal in the workforce.”
Alder set up the campaign with a goal of raising $1,300 — a goal that was soon exceeded.
In her summary on the GoFundMe website, she wrote that Phinney himself, who is visiting family in Alberta, had no idea what she was doing to help him.
“Bruce has always been approachable even on topics that we may not agree upon,” Alder writes.
“He always feels he is looking out for the best interest of the Town residents.”
In an apparent reference to Wendy and Kelly Alders’ unsuccessful attempts to get town approval for a fast-food drive-thru at the Ultramar gas bar and convenience store on Cattail Ridge that they once owned, she wrote:
“Bruce supported our business when we lived in Sackville and was supportive of changes we tried to do to bylaws. As such, I’d like to support Bruce.”
To visit the Bruce Phinney GoFundMe page, click here.
Note: Under Section 15 of the Council Code of Conduct, Phinney may be prohibited from accepting the GoFundMe donations, although that’s far from clear. Under the heading, “Gifts and Benefits,” the Code says: “No Member shall show favoritism or bias towards any vendor, contractor or others doing business for the Town. Members are prohibited from accepting any fees, gifts, gratuities or other benefits.”
For previous coverage, click here.