No say for part-time residents

Staff ~ The Amherst Daily News
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To the Editor;
Most taxpayers of Cumberland County are seeing thousands of maggots today as they prepare their garbage for the twice-monthly pickup. Some are perhaps musing about them, but no one is amused.
I wonder how public health is being impacted by the purposeful development of billions of baby flies by the municipal government. One must assume that the contractor still makes a profit on the $5 million in spite of the apparent inefficiency of four pickups in a two-week period in summer, only one of which is for garbage.
Apparently Keith Hunter and his councillors are paid to operate the county to the satisfaction of a very few taxpayers; perhaps the fewer the better. This strategy was widely used by the previous Conservative provincial government and they were eventually fired because of it. I have a long list of examples of their arrogance.
Today, we have a group of leaders who want to do right by their province, if only because they have had to sit quietly fuming as an opposition without the ability to oppose because of a defective democratic system.
The garbage problem is not new, and the many complaints about it were always ignored because management had the Conservatives, or earlier, the Liberals supporting them via "municipal affairs."
But even worse, another bit of democracy was destroyed by the old line parties when a voice from taxpayers was removed years ago: The vast majority of property taxpayers now have no voice in how their money is spent in Cumberland County.
Hunter answers only to less than 8,000 voters (at 50 per cent turnout) of a very small voters' list, thanks to Conservative Christine MacCulloch, head of Elections Nova Scotia, whose mandate is to update the list. This is a small percentage of the nearly 100,000 population of Cumberland County in the summer, almost all of whom are property owners and taxpayers. I got this figure from Tourism a few years ago when they wanted a bigger budget to try to increase the number of visitors to the county.
Other provinces, including Ontario, have made provisions to allow their property tax payers a voice in how their huge taxes are spent. The good news now is there is someone very interested in this subject and wants to hear from you. His name is Brian Skabar, MLA, and his office is on Church Street in Amherst. He is very approachable, so tell him what you think, even if you are from out of province. Taxation without representation went out of style in the 1700s.
John M. Hill, Northport

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