Congratulations

Congratulations to Keith Irving and Garry Balcom, for their results in the Wolfville Election.

Debate? Or not?

Was this a “debate” or was it a tightly controlled event?  Judge for yourself.  And what did you think about the moderator and the questions she “vetted”?

Wolfville Election 2012

Not sure how many readers we have left as we have mostly gone dark here at Ww but we still occasionally get submissions. Brian Sanderson has some thoughts on the upcoming election and some useful analysis.Here are a few short excerpts to whet your appetite.

I’ve been negligent. For more than a year I have been ignoring Town of Wolfville machinations — and, in my ignorance, sleeping blissfully.

But there is nothing like an election to ruin a good nights sleep. Dusting off a year of cobwebs, I figured the best place to start was a review of the bottom line. ….

There follows some good analysis including  a chart. Then

Now we have elections coming up. A bunch of “nice” candidates are going to tell you about all the “nice” things that they are going to do for you. They will have all sort of “visions” and “imaginings”. They will all be “sustainable” without ever saying what exactly they are sustaining.

I’m Brian Sanderson and I’m NOT running for Council. I’m NOT running for Mayor. I’m NOT here to have “nice” “visions” and “imaginings” like some burned-out hippie smoking wacky-baccy.

I’m here to analyze the bulldust and tell it like I see it.

So please look at what he has put together. Here is the link to his page. 

 

 

A letter to Wolfville’s Mayor

Here is a letter to the mayor, a copy of which has been submitted to us by Mr. Daniels for publication for the information of Wolfville residents.

Dear Mayor Stead:

Re: Public Participation and Question Period

The fifth core principle listed in the 2009 Wolfville Corporate Strategic Plan is “transparency and participatory government.” Elected officials “will strive to involve [citizens] in their local government.” I recall that you expressed support for this principle when it was discussed and adopted by Council. Yet your actions demonstrate that you are either ignorant of the full meaning public participation or you are selective in the “public” whom you would like to participate.

At the January 4th Committee of Council meeting Deputy Mayor Mangle asked about the lack of a sidewalk at the Wickwire Place development. In response, Greg Morrison, the Director of Planning, wrote a memo to Council, dated January 30, 2012. In this memo Mr. Morrison included the fact that landscaping which is required by the approved development agreement to be completed within 18 months of the “commencement date,” June 2006, has yet to be planted.

At the April 2nd Committee of Council meeting, during question period, I asked about the landscaping at Wickwire Place. Rather than simply request Mr. Morrison, who was sitting in the audience, to provide an update, you took it upon yourself to ask me a question. Had I inspected the Wickwire Place property? Your question implied that it was somehow my responsibility to inspect the property before I could ask my question; as if you are permitted to place conditions upon the kinds of questions residents may pose to Council during the designated question period.

(Perhaps the question you should have asked was why the Wickwire Place developer was not required to comply with the development agreement and complete the landscaping on time.)

If you think it is easy to stand up in public and ask questions and make comments, you are mistaken. And speaking at council meetings is not made any easier when the speaker may be subjected to discourteous, unnecessary and inappropriate questioning. Your behaviour does not further the objective of public participation but rather thwarts it.

As a mayor, you are required to preside at all meetings of council. Municipal Government Act, s. 15(1). You appear to be unable to carry out this duty in a fair and effective manner.

Sincerely,

David A. Daniels

This is not the first time the mayor has not given any respect to legitimate questions; he considers any views other than his own “uneducated, ignorant and unfair”.   Many would say that those words apply more appropriately to HIM! Does  Mr. Stead know how seriously residents view this lack of respect? Perhaps only voting him out of office will get that through to him.  And the councillors just sit and watch. Why?

As for the weakness in enforcement of Development agreements – this is not a new issue either.

Remember Railtown?  

And to quote from another of our earlier posts –

The truth is that even if Council agrees with all of the above their hands may be tied. Once the agreement is signed off there is very little anyone can do to enforce the details of that “agreement” because sadly DA’s do not have the force of a contract. Getting Council to admit that may be hard. They would prefer people thought they did.

We doubt that the most recent MPS and land use by laws Review has changed this lack of teeth one whit.

POTHOLES

Here is an e-mail we received from a resident. It speaks for itself.

The potholes in front of my house are so big and bad and my calls to have them filled have been falling, not on deaf ears, but on people who feel that it is not possible to look after the roads and pay salaries at the same time.
One gets jackrabbited from one phone number to another until somebody comes back from lunch or a  break to tell you there are no resources.  I see resources piled higher and deeper between here and Canning where they store the chip seal material.
It is just that there are no specialists in throwing that stuff into the holes and tamping it down.  Are they in a union or something?
I considered getting the gigantic raccoon (roadkill) on the highway and having it peaking over the edge of the pothole that wants to tear my tires to pieces.  I have to detour to get out of here.
The man who delivers the newspaper in the wee hours has to have the patience of Job.  The ambulance drivers and paramedics will drive over hot coals and potholes to get to this neck of the woods, not to mention the once a year visit of the RCMP.  Perhaps they come around more often, but have disappeared inadvertently in one of the potholes.  I should check.
Betty Morgan

NO RESOURCES? Huh

 

What did we tell you?

Here’s a quote from the article  in a recent Advertiser by single W….

According to MacLean, an increase of $17 million in assessment was a boon to the town budgeting process this year. [emph ours]

Why? Why should this affect expenses at all? WE HAVE SAID IT BEFORE AND WILL SAY IT AGAIN – rising ( or decreasing) assessments should have no effect on whether it costs more (or less) for the administration to manage town affairs via the budget.

We are disappointed in MacLean – we thought he might turn out to be above this sort of deception. Or was he was misquoted?

But the town keeps the rate the same ( to snow taxpayers into thinking taxes aren’t rising)  and reap the windfall. But tax rates are not taxes any more than assessment is revenue.

Residents ( and Councillors) should be alert to this trick and ask Councillors (and staff)  to justify every  dollar increase in the cost of running the town.

Acadia might be trying to instill critical thinking but it is noticeably absent in the thinking of our councillors  and – it seems- most voters.

Paying for wind subsidies

Taxpayers and energy consumers pay through the nose for wind and solar subsidies while favoured companies and individuals clean  up. Fair?

Across the countryside outside Toronto, wind turbines are spreading like a plague. They are being built over the strenuous objections of folks who live in rural towns, whose rights have been stomped on by the province. They’re chewing up birds. Worst of all, they’re chewing up billions of taxpayer dollars in the name of a green dream that’s nothing but a fantasy. …

Premier Dalton McGuinty has heard the voters speak. In an effort to placate them, the government is going to trim its subsidies to wind and solar development and give the rural folks some say. The bad news is that these changes won’t affect the contracts already in place. Taxpayers will still be on the hook for soaring energy bills for years to come.

The green energy bubble is bursting everywhere. As governments confront the worst economic conditions in decades, citizens are revolting against energy costs that have been artificially inflated by green schemes….

Spain, which is in serious economic trouble, has also decided to stop subsidizing new alternative energy projects.

So Nova Scotia should start?

Read it all here                 and more here