Councillors say mayor, clerk should have mentioned Knapp’s family problems to paper

Councillor Roger Knapp says it was like being “thrown to the wolves” when Mayor Chris White and clerk Janice Sheppard failed to mention his “personal family problems” during interviews for Well­ington Advertiser stories last month about the attendance of municipal councillors.
Knapp said the mayor and clerk were quoted several times in the stories, which identified Knapp as having the worst attendance record in the county.
But the pair failed to mention the personal problems, including several deaths of which they were well aware, he said.
“It wasn’t fair what the township did to me,” Knapp said last week. “They should have said something.”
Knapp himself was contacted for the stories, but was unavailable for comment.
He said last week the lack of comment on the deaths was particularly alarming considering the township “sent flowers and condolence letters” to him.
“I can’t make excuses for their lack of actions,” Knapp said, adding the mayor at least should have spoken up for him. “I just don’t understand why [White] didn’t mention something.”
Fellow councillor Reta Moyer was also alarmed at the actions, or lack thereof, taken by White and Sheppard.
According to Moyer, Knapp had seven deaths in his family in 2007, including his mother, whom he also visited several times in eastern Canada while she was ill.
“I can’t believe they have the audacity to penalize the man for burying his mother,” Moyer told The Wellington Advertiser at a recent council meeting.
“I think it’s disgusting.”
She was referring to $400 that was deducted from Knapp’s remuneration as a result of absences at three regular council meetings.
Moyer tried to express her frustration during the announcement portion of the Jan. 21 meeting but White interjected, telling her that was not the time for such complaints.
“This is not going away,” she told the mayor.
White replied he was not suggesting it should, and the matter would be dealt with at another time.
White was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.