A concerned citizens group calling on the Town of Springhill to fill in the blanks why it decided to dissolve the town is drawing passionate feelings in the community.
Some are aligning with the concerned citizens group, adding their voice for mayor and council to open the books and explain the situation in detail.
Others recognize the debt-ridden town will never be able to turn things around in the foreseeable future and see dissolution offering some hope their tax dollars under the Municipality of Cumberland County.
Even if you are all for dissolution, the fact remains the people of Springhill are entitled to some straight answers before the town goes, and the burning questions are pretty straightforward.
How did the town’s debt move from $4.2 million last year, as per the consolidated financial statements, to $5.1 million this year?
If the town was looking at dissolution as early as January 2014, why would council pass a $500,000 temporary borrowing resolution the same month to buy a building, land, photocopiers and an asphalt machine?
Three tenders for policing Springhill were presented before the decision to dissolve the town. What was the lowest tender?
Who proposed dissolution? Was it internally or did it come from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations?
Since its decision to dissolve, we have heard all citizens have a part to share in the decision, but we don’t think so. Many have dutifully paid their taxes and are within their rights to demand a public forum from mayor, council and staff to answer their questions in better detail than they received.
The unfortunate part is now that that town has formally submitted its application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board there’s no way of knowing if the existing mayor and council will answer the questions in a public form, or will we have to wait until the utility board holds it hearings – that’s if said hearing is even held in Springhill.
We also don’t know if there’s any way the dissolution genie can be put back in the bottle, but Springhillers want answers and someone should be prepared to answer them.
If we turn to our European neighbours, many communities have protested when their government is out of line with its people. It should be no surprise then if the people of Springhill are willing to organize themselves and call on their elected government to come clean.