Leefe to lead Springhill's transition from town

Darrell Cole
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Former cabinet minister appointed by Service Nova Scotia minister

John Leefe, a former mayor of the Queens Regional Municipality, is the transition co-ordinator for Springhill.

John Leefe, a former mayor of the Queens Regional Municipality, is the transition co-ordinator for Springhill.

HALIFAX – Former PC cabinet minister John Leefe has been appointed as the transition co-ordinator to oversee Springhill’s transition from a town to part of the Municipality of Cumberland.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Mark Furey announced the appointment early Monday, saying Leefe, a former mayor of the Queens Regional Municipality, will oversee the change in governance.

"Mr. Leefe understands the challenges municipalities face and the community sensitivities in advancing municipal reform," said Furey. "For 33 years, the people of Queens trusted him to lead them to a stronger future. The Region of Queens Municipality is a perfect example of successful municipal governance."

Leefe is a former educator, author of several books and was the MLA for Queens from 1978 to 1999, serving in several cabinet posts. He was elected mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality three times before stepping down in October 2012.

"I look forward to working with these two municipalities to achieve their mutual goal of a new municipal unit that will more effectively meet the needs of local taxpayers," said Leefe. "We all recognize the necessity of moving forward with appropriate dispatch while ensuring that all interested parties are engaged and informed throughout."            

The Town of Springhill's municipal council has applied to the Utility and Review Board for dissolution of the town after 125 years of incorporation.

Leefe will facilitate the process, as outlined in the Municipal Government Act, and guide discussions for the town to become part of the Municipality of the County of Cumberland effective April 1, 2015.

"Mr. Leefe has seen the result when two communities work together to find a new model to governance. We are pleased that he has agreed to assist us through this process," said Springhill Mayor Max Snow. "Now that we have made application to dissolve, it is important that we move quickly to ensure the long-term viability of Springhill."                       

"Mr. Leefe's experience in municipal government will be an asset," said Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter. "At the end of the day it's all about the residents of Springhill and making the transition as smooth as possible for the community."

The province will continue to provide support during the process to help the Town of Springhill and the Municipality of the County of Cumberland reach an agreement.

Organizations: Region of Queens Municipality, Municipality of Nova Scotia, Quesn Regional Municipality MLA for Queens Utility and Review Board

Geographic location: Springhill, Nova Scotia, Queens Cumberland

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Recent comments

  • Dennis M
    March 10, 2014 - 16:35

    very sad indeed , I grew up in Springhill but moved here to Ontario when I was 22 , I now have a great job , own my own home and have everything I ever could have dreamed of , none of this would have been possible if I had stayed there , I have often thought however of retiring back there one day , the price of my home would buy about 5 in Springhill , hope things get straightened out , good luck

  • Fred H
    March 10, 2014 - 14:51

    Mismanagement is in all government , however, usually they have a tax base and borrowing ability to keep the game going . With the majority of Cumberland industrial and business tax base in Amherst and Oxford to a lesser extent then the Springhills , River Heberts, Maccans etc have no municipal taxes from the factories and business's that they support . It is not a blame game to point out this structural dysfunction .

  • Fred H
    March 10, 2014 - 11:42

    The big problem is that Amherst with it's Federal Gov funded Industrial park and big box stores has sucked Springhill and the County villages dry . Amherst is really a tax haven for these large firms and the surrounding areas don't benefit with municipal taxes so they just go downhill . Amherst on the other Amherst on the other hand seems to do well . It can play with parks of all sorts, put in fancy street works , fancy crosswalks , Parisian style notice boards, play musical buildings for council and police , sell prime buildings in the town center for $ 2 etc . Poor old Springhill could never expect to pay it's bills as their Industrial and Business tax base to a great extent is based within Amherst borders . Business establishments in Springhill, Southampton,Maccan,River Hebert and other communities are just cancelled and forced out by the Amherst players who don't have to pay civic taxes back to those areas . The next step in this amalgamation process must involve Amherst joining the County ....

    • B Smith
      March 10, 2014 - 13:43

      A huge problem is lots of folk in Springhill just didn't pay their taxes and the town suffered from poor management. Recoup that money first before blaming other towns for Springhills demise.