Inside the belly of the beast

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Albeit it with a certain air of controversy, it has been a treat for the residents of the county and Cumberland County's four municipal units to turn to their community newspapers and read straight from the horse's mouth how the saga of future fire services to county residents is taking shape.
Ads between the Municipality of Cumberland County and the four townships - Springhill, Oxford, Amherst and Parrsboro - stating their stance, interpretation of the facts and intended course of action have given readers an insight into the bureaucratic hell that is politics and a sense of the necessary diplomacy it takes for any community to operate with its neighbours. Too often the layperson can be mislead to believe that many of the services they enjoy as a taxpayer have been there all along and politics operates like a well-oiled machine in some far off land we need not worry ourselves with.
This week, the townships are running an ad opening the floor to Municipal Warden Keith Hunter to discuss fire protection services to the county in areas directly adjacent to the four towns after the Municipality of Cumberland County ran an ad stating they can create and operate their own fire department outside of Amherst in light of the amount Amherst wants for extending its services beyond July 1, 2008. Granted, it is by no means an olive branch it is indicative of how things work in the political sphere; someone always has to take the first step. As if by design, the county and the municipal units have created a lesson plan for its people to observe and recall in the future when they find themselves butting heads with the political animal.
Given that these municipal leaders are willing to air their dirty laundry in public, if you will, it should only be appropriate for the people to do the same. As this matter unfolds taxpayers should feel free to express their desires and direction for the future of fire protection services both in the county and towns to their respective authorities. Rather than zero-in on the issue of shared services a town hall meeting could be held to design a future reflective of why people enter politics in the first place: to help the people.

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Oxford, Parrsboro

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