A St. John's city councillor who hopes to become mayor is accusing incumbent Dennis O'Keefe of political plagiarism with his call for a crime prevention committee.
O'Keefe's plan for a mayor's advisory committee is set to be debated Tuesday evening at city council's regular meeting. It comes on the heels of drug-related incidents that include a firebombing outside a house near downtown St. John's and the firing of an automatic rifle at a suburban home.
Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary thinks the motion is far too familiar to an idea pitched weeks ago by Jonathan Galgay, a candidate in Ward 2.
"It is political opportunism, for sure," said O'Leary.
Galgay, a newcomer who hopes to succeed his uncle, Frank Galgay, on city council, declined to comment on the spat, but said he hopes council supports the idea.
O'Keefe's announcement referenced a meeting with Galgay where the formation of a committee was discussed.
O'Leary said she supports the motion, but that O'Keefe should not get credit for the committee, especially as the campaign heats up for September's municipal election.
"I just wanted to call a spade a spade, that's the reality of the situation," she said.
"Politics is going to get very interesting over the next couple of months, for sure."
Geoff Chaulk, a health advocate who is also running for mayor, thought little of both of his opponents, and suggested things were better left in the hands of the police.
"Let them do their jobs," Chaulk wrote on his blog. "You are both way out of your league, anyway."
Chaulk added that it was "just plain stupid" for public officials to tell criminals how they planned to curb crime.