We found the second issue of Mud Creek News [MCN] at the PO [ Get one while they last!] There are three articles: One by Lutz Becker and Two by David Daniels. We give highlights here since they are not yet posted at the MCN website:
What the Town is not telling you about the Central Ave Project
is the title of the first. In it Lutz points out that the original figure in the Capital budget of $110,000 for the Central Ave project [with $55K coming from the Town and $55K from ACOA] has ballooned to $306,683 and the lone guy standing up for the taxpayer is Keith Irving who asked why the Council should approve a project which was already 94% over budget and where the additional money was to come from. He should have just stuck with the first question. The second one assumes it will go forward.
He spoke against taking money out of the Community Development Fund as that would hinder other projects. After much discussion Council agreed the funding gap would be filled by $40K coming from the Engineering and Planning Fund [what other work won’t be done because of this use of the money?] an additional $32K from the Water Utility Fund [higher water rates anyone?] and only $26,683 from the Community Development Reserve Fund [instead of the originally proposed $66,683 – a sop to Irving]
But it was approved because Irving stands alone. Mr. Becker asks ” Could this Council find no other project of REAL IMPORTANCE to Wolfville and its citizens?” Good Question Lutz but the answer is “blowin in the wind.”
In the second article entitled Town Hires Consultants to help it Communicate, Mr. Daniels asks “Who authorised the hiring ?” [ of Ramp Up Consulting] “And how much are the consultants costing the town. The answers to these questions have not been made public.” He also asks another question: ” Is the irony lost on Town Officials? Consultants hired to help with communication and increase public participation without any communication or public consultation!” We can answer that one. Yes, the irony is lost on the town.
The third article, also by Mr. Daniels is entitled Council Ignores Guiding Principles in its central Avenue Decision. He points out that “Not once during the discussion [ of the Central Ave. Project] were issues of sustainability addressed [ sustainability being supposedly a “foundation for its decision making process” according to the Town’s Guiding Principles.]
Mr. Daniels is figuring out that by-laws and planning strategies, and principles are for show. They can be ignored unless they suit the Town suits or you take legal action. Mr. Daniels doesn’t like it any more than we do, but they will continue to ignore us. There is only one remedy and it is at the ballot box.