GUYSBOROUGH: The warden of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) says he doesn’t want people to jump to conclusions without hearing both sides of the story, in reference to an e-mail exchange posted on-line last week that involves the municipality’s Chief Administration Officer (CAO).

Barry Carroll expressed to Rob Carter, the past organizer of the Lost Shores Gran Fondo, that the “Gloves are off. You’re going to wish you never heard of me. Buckle up!!!” in an e-mail that was sent on March 9 and subsequently posted on the Lost Shores Facebook page May 13.

“We have heard that when it comes to promoting Guysborough as a tourism destination, the Lost Shores Gran Fondo just might have been a pretty solid home run,” their post claimed. “After creating the event from scratch and donating over 2,000 hours to its success, we are deeply disappointed with our municipality’s refusal to honour the agreement we signed three years ago.”

The following day, the MODG issued a public statement in response to the posting to provide further information on the matter.

In 2018, Carter advised the municipality and all the cyclers registered for the 2018 Gran Fondo, an annual cycling event in Guysborough County, that it would be the final Gran Fondo with Lost Shores’ involvement; parting ways with the municipality after three-years.

The municipality was surprised by the announcement and made the decision to continue the program as the Gran Fondo Guysborough scheduled for September 7, 2019.

“After the municipality announced that the Gran Fondo would continue in 2019, sponsored solely by the municipality, Mr. Carter made unauthorized contact with registered cyclists and contractors of the municipality,” the statement read. “Mr. Carter advised previous Fondo participants that he had now decided to hold a Lost Shores Gran Fondo approximately one week before the Gran Fondo Guysborough sponsored by the municipality, which is what prompted Mr. Carroll’s e-mail.”

Following May’s regular council meeting on May 15, Guysborough Warden Vernon Pitts told reporters that he doesn’t perceive Carroll’s comments as a direct threat, and hasn’t since day one.

“It’s taken out of context, if you were aware of what’s taken place since day one, you wouldn’t be considering it as a threat either,” he said. “It was just a figure of speech that was made inappropriately.”

After quickly realizing his language in the e-mail was inappropriate, Carrolll apologized to Carter in writing the next day.

As a result of this, a one-hour-and-fourty-minute telephone conversation was held between the two on March 12, and it was Carroll’s understanding that the matters between Carter and MODG had been resolved, as he hadn’t received any additional correspondence until the posting of his e-mail, nearly two months later.

The municipality’s statement included screenshots of the follow-up e-mails between Carroll and Carter and also consisted of an apology from Carroll.

“I am very passionate about programs and services provided by our municipality and in particular about programs that benefit many residents and businesses, such as the Gran Fondo,” Carroll said. “I apologized to Mr. Carter back in March for my e-mail and I now apologize to the residents of the municipality for my poor choice of words.”

Pitts indicated that he’s fully aware of the criticism and backlash Carroll has received on Facebook.

“People have to realize you shouldn’t jump to conclusions without hearing both sides of the story and decide following that,” he said. “I think Mr. Carroll has done the appropriate thing in issuing the apology and the reasoning and the rationale behind it.”

Councillors don’t consider the matter with Carroll over, and Pitts advised council was dealing with the issue in an in-camera session later that evening.

Carroll wasn’t present during last Wednesday’s council meeting, but Pitts explained his absence wasn’t related to the issue at hand, rather, he was in Newfoundland attending a previously scheduled family function.