We began council on Jan 23 with a presentation from Mayor Christine Blair of Colchester County on the subject of mayor versus warden - a decision we will have to make in the near future.
Mayor Blair has served as a councillor under a warden and is now a mayor so is well versed on the subject. Mayor and warden have the same responsibilities under the Municipal Government Act. The difference is that the mayor is elected by all citizens and the warden is selected by the councillors
After the election at the first meeting of council. It is worth mentioning that once a municipality switches to mayor they cannot go back to a warden. Interesting times ahead!
We also talked about our three transfer stations and their future. After much discussion consensus was met to consider an area rate on taxes for the districts having transfer stations in districts 4, 9 and10.
Another option is closure which would mean your construction and demolition waste would have to be trucked to Little Forks and tipping fees paid. For example, on a typical roofing job add approximately $1,000.
We also discussed a second countywide bulk pickup in the fall as well as garbage and organic pickup for 22 weeks in the summer on a weekly basis. There was no consensus.
Council also talked more about the Wheeler report on fracking.
Chapter 5 builds on the analysis of Chapter 4 and that community impacts of energy development may be both positive and negative.
It describes four key areas: local economy, social and physical infrastructure, natural environment and social relations.
The chapter finishes with the following questions that need answered. What are the community effects of hydraulic fracturing in other jurisdictions within Canada and what it means for Nova Scotia?
Does the regulatory framework make a difference in peoples’ lives on the ground and if so what would this mean for regulations in Nova Scotia?
At a fine scale how would communities most directly affected feel?
What would be the hidden costs and how can benefits and burdens be equitably distributed among communities and regions?
All are good questions with no answers at present.
The last item was washrooms for the Southampton fire hall. This had been discussed at an earlier council but got derailed somehow so staff will find a solution.
Question: Do you wish your transfer station remains open? Call your councillor!
Don Fletcher is the Cumberland municipal councillor for District 10.