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‘Just politics’ says City Hall alderman of court summons

A years-old dispute with Planning saw a City of Hamilton alderman brought before Magistrates’ Court.

Carlton Simmons pleaded not guilty to failing to remove an unlawful metal gate across a right of way, and was given a July date for trial. Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo granted bail of $1,000.

Mr Simmons was charged with leaving the gate up at Angle Street in the City of Hamilton, from December 3, 2012 and every day thereafter.

He’d been served on October 5, with an enforcement notice signed by the Minister of the Environment and Planning ordering him to take it down.

The alderman described his summons to court as “just politics”.

He told The Royal Gazette: “I don’t understand why this had to come to court in the first place.”

Mr Simmons said he was legally required to have a gate that would keep his two pit bulls inside his yard, and that the gate did not constitute an obstruction.

“I used to be on the Planning Board, and I had to excuse myself because of this issue,” he said, adding that he had met with Planning on the issue two years ago.

Planning originally told him they weren’t able to grant permission for a gate, while his lawyer argued that it didn’t affect the right of way.

“Now they’re saying I have not applied, which isn’t true,” Mr Simmons said.

He was ordered to return to court on July 9.

Photo by Mark Tatem Hamilton alderman Carlton Simmons leaves Magistrates' Court after denying a charge of failing to comply with an enforcement order from the Environment and Planning Ministry. He was given a July trial date.

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Published April 25, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 24, 2013 at 11:00 pm)

‘Just politics’ says City Hall alderman of court summons

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