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Amherst shows its positive side entering 2018

Amherst Mayor David Kogon is pleased with a continued spirit of optimisim that exists in the community as it leaves 2017 and enters 2018.
Amherst Mayor David Kogon is pleased with a continued spirit of optimisim that exists in the community as it leaves 2017 and enters 2018. - Darrell Cole

Mayor Kogon thrilled with optimism and positive spirit in community

AMHERST – Amherst Mayor David Kogon is looking forward to another year of growing optimism in his community.

Speaking to the Amherst News in his year-end interview, the mayor said he and members of council have seen the growth of a positive attitude in Amherst since they were elected in October 2016. Its something he expects to see continue into 2018.

The bottom line on 2017 is it was a very positive year for Amherst and there appears to be a very strong spirit of positivity in the community that we want to carry forward into 2018, Kogon said. There appears to be a renewed sense of optimism in the community and a new spirit of co-operation with our partners including the Municipality of Cumberland and Oxford.

When he was elected in 2018, Kogon said he and his council was given a mandate of change by the voters of Amherst. While that process has begun, Kogon said change is not easy to make its not something you want to do just for the sake of making change.

Just before Christmas, council announced several restructuring moves to prepare for the retirement of longtime employees Rebecca Purdy and finance director Vince Arbing. Kogon said these changes have seen several employees be promoted from within while a search will soon begin for a new chief financial officer.

At the same time, the town is working to hire an economic development officer to develop closer ties between the town and the Cumberland Business Connector. This persons job will be to stimulate business and economic growth within the community.

One of our goals is to grow the economy and in turn grow the population of Amherst, Kogon said. This continues to be one of our goals moving forward in 2018 and I believe well continue to make gains in that area moving forward.

The town also wants to take a closer look at how it supports community groups and organizations. Its something the council wanted to do when it took office, but he said it decided to take a longer look to make sure it does the job right.

There are probably groups out there who could use more of our support and help and on the flip side there are probably some that dont need as much support, Kogon said. We want to take the time to analyze how we support our community groups and come up with a system thats both fair and equitable.

Looking ahead, the mayor said the future of Col. James Layton Ralston Armoury and the condition of the dikes on the Tantramar Marshes between Amherst and Sackville, N.B. will be high priorities for the town.

On the subject of the armoury, the mayor said the town is continuing to work with other partners, including Amherst Heritage Trust, to find a way to repair and potentially operate the century-old building in the downtown.

He said the goal is to protect the building for the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum and for the three cadet corps that continue to use the building.

Kogon said he and his partners in Sackville, N.B. and the Municipality of Cumberland are hoping to meet with the transportation ministers from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia regarding the dikes and he added its good to have the support of four federal cabinet ministers.

The present goal, he said, is to have a study funded and completed on what is needed to repair the dikes and then secure the funding to have the work completed to alleviate any concerns about the integrity of the dikes.

darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

 

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