Profile in the Grapevine

The Grapevine has been running profiles on the new councillors. The latest [July 30-Aug. 12 issue] was on Carl Oldham, manager of Save Easy. He had interesting things to say [not that the others didn’t too but we can’t get to everything!]

One thing he mentioned was “poor journalism” something we can’t abide either. His comment was in relation to a CBC [beloved by many?] story comparing food costs around Canada where Wolfville [always targeted it seems] was mentioned unfavorably putting Carl’s store in a bad light. We had a post on this a while back, as our regular readers may recall, where we mentioned things missing from the story. As Carl points out, the price of milk and most other products are set by Loblaws and are the same at all Save Easy locations, so those unhappy with the situation should petition Loblaws – which has a lot of explaining to do we think.

The other sensible thing Carl was reported to have said in the article – and he generally makes a lot of sense – was this:

As far as working with council goes, he thinks that actions speak louder than words. ‘Don’t make it too complicated’ he says of town planning. ‘As politicians we spend too much time word smithing’.

Right on Carl! And if the council took this attitude to heart and got the things that count done we would feel secure that our taxes were not going to waste. As it is there are lots of fine words but poor follow through.

If Carl was wrong about anything it was his comment about assessments. He points out that assessments are set by the province, not the town,  implying by this that high taxes were to be blamed on high assessments. This is wrong in two ways. 1) In the past at least the town has meddled with assessments by appealing them, even admitting it at one town meeting. AND 2) assessments shouldn’t affect, in any case, the amount of money required to run the town. We repeat – ad nauseum we suppose- that assessments are only a means of distributing the tax burden [often unfairly – think about deed transfer tax, the increase in commercial rate replacing supposedly the BoT which hasn’t come off yet] among residents. No matter what the assessments are – high or low – the council has the power to get its revenue by way of adjusting the rate so don’t blame THAT part on assessments.

At the end of the article Carl points out that council is looking for feedback on the Draft Strategic Plan [all that wordsmithing!] – the deadline for written submissions is Monday Aug. 31st.

Have to commend the Grapevine for this Who’s Who series. Nice to see some town issues being explored.

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