A Harbour Grace resident believes a local town councillor should resign following an incident between the two men that transpired after a recent council meeting.
Police officers were called at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, shortly after the meeting that night had finished, to respond to a disturbance at the council chambers. Staff Sgt. Greg Hicks from the Harbour Grace RCMP detachment told The Compass “there was no ongoing concerns” once police arrived on the scene. He said both men involved in the incident were spoken to and that no charges will be laid.
Tom Rose is the resident who was involved in the post-meeting encounter with Coun. Kevin Williams. Rose told The Compass he approached Williams after the meeting, which had approximately 20 people in attendance plus town staff and council members. Rose said he made a comment to him regarding a debate from the previous meeting in January that involved Williams and another councillor. Rose felt Williams should have apologized to the councillor. The matter had come up again briefly towards the end of the Feb. 11 meeting.
As people were leaving, Rose told Williams he should “wash his shoulders.” He said Williams asked him to come back, which Rose did. Rose said Williams asked him to repeat what he said and then asked Rose why he said this. Rose responded that he felt Williams’ shoulder were “brown.” He said Williams responded angrily.
Rose proceeded to leave, and as he got to the porch area of the town office, he noticed Williams was moving through people to follow him. Rose claims Williams scratched his shoulder and got hold of his clothes. Rose grabbed him back, and the two men moved into a corner just beside the entrance. He said Mayor Don Coombs separated them shortly thereafter — Rose referred to this as the mayor coming to Williams’ rescue.
“I never struck the man,” Rose said. “I never rose my hand to him, other than to hold him there in the glass door.”
The Compass contacted Williams, who declined to speak about the incident.
Rose, an amputee with one leg, has since been advised he’s banned from the town office for 90 days. Rose believes Williams assaulted him and said he and the mayor should both resign from council. He has consulted a lawyer since the incident occurred.
Mayor Coombs confirmed the terms of Rose’s ban from the town office and declined to comment further on the matter.