In preparation for the Kings County Council meeting on September 6th, in concert with other concerned citizens the is letter was was prepared for discussion at the meeting. Despite the major issues raised the concerns expressed were overlooked and no included in the meeting agenda. Like presentations were submitted  by Councillor Winsor and Councillor Muttart.

August 31, 2016

Dear Warden Brothers and Council

We, as citizens of Kings County, are increasingly concerned with the rush to get the new Municipal Building approved prior to the election this October.

Continue reading Letter

Community Service—or a Job

Municipal government is the level of government that affects our lives the most. Roads, recreation, community planning, police, fire and many other services provided to our properties are all the responsibility of our municipalities. But it is also the level to which we often pay the least attention.

In Nova Scotia only 42% of the eligible citizens vote in municipal elections. Voter turnout in Kings County is among the worst in the province with an average turnout in the towns and county of about 35%.

Continue reading Community Service—or a Job

Letter to the editor: What is Kings County council hiding with changes to Code of Conduct policy?

As a result of the misguided and arbitrary action of the majority of Kings County council members, following the recommendation of the county’s chief administrative officer (CAO), Tom MacEwan, a policy was amended so that it is now harder for Kings County citizens to know what’s going on at Council and to hold its members accountable.

The policy I refer to concerns how Code of Conduct for Elected Municipal Officials complaints against council members are handled. With the new amendment, the complaint itself and all information concerning the complaint are to be kept confidential except in those cases when an investigator submits his or her report and recommendations to council.

At the council meeting when the policy amendments were debated, one councillor stated that the public has the right to know what complaints are filed against councillors. In response, the CAO said that all information about the complaint would be provided to council members when an investigator’s report was complete.

Continue reading Letter to the editor: What is Kings County council hiding with changes to Code of Conduct policy?

Citizen concerns persist in new Kings municipal complex:

Kirk Starratt article in the “Valley Register” addresses major shortcomings and lack of communication in design changes:

  • Explanation for flip flop on whether the project can meet energy efficiency of 25% below the 2011 National Energy Code is lacking a real explanation
  • How can the Consultants be comfortable finalizing tender ready drawings given the concerns expressed by the public at this August 10 meeting?
  • Public was not brought in early enough and the consultation process is a charade
  • Notwithstanding Warden Brothers expresses no concern despite what is said by public and apparently prepared to proceed with the tender process (“damn the torpedoes”)

Other issues the article could have addressed:

  • Project manager is not named; when pressed further, Scott Quinn was named as project manager and ultimately it is the responsibility of the CAO and well documented that both these individuals’ heavy work loads does not provide time for needed attention to this large construction.  Tax payers deserve to know who is managing the project and their money.
  • Design layout of 65% of the man building is not displayed or the design f the Public Works Building.
  • Public parking of only 12 spaces is absolutely inadequate. Should mention street parking is not a possibility.
  • Councillors are kept in dark and had no knowledge of the foregoing. Commentary at the public meeting it was obvious they were blindsided. Apparently the Engineer and CAO in their wisdom felt no need to inform the Warden for the public’s representatives, the Councillors.
  • Interesting that the Councillors who voted against delaying the project until a new council was in place were not in attendance at these public meetings: MacQuarrie, Lloyd and Best

Continue reading Citizen concerns persist in new Kings municipal complex:

Rethinking our approach to local government

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