Town Notices

Perhaps someone at Town Hall made the resolution to update the municipal website more often. There are a couple of new flash messages on the home page.

One is about Christmas tree pick up. We are to leave our trees by the curb no earlier than Jan 3, i.e. yesterday, to be picked up between today and the 7th. This leaves only one day (the 7th) for those who keep the twelve days of Christmas.

The other new notice touts the Fiscal Sustainability Task Force public meeting.

The meeting agenda is not linked to the flash notice on the main page.  It is very brief and for those who dislike downloading PDFs [as we are forced to do  in this instance]we copy it here:

FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY TASK FORCE
PUBLIC PRESENTATION & PRIORITIZATION OF FINAL REPORT
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2010
TOWN HALL, WOLFVILLE
7 – 9 PM
AGENDA
1. INTRODUCTION – MAYOR STEAD
2. PRESENTATION OF FINAL REPORT – COUNCILLOR IRVING (30 MIN)
3. QUESTION AND ANSWER (30 MIN)
4. PRIORIZATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS (45 MIN)
5. ADJOURNMENT [emph ours]

30 minutes for questions. It doesn’t seem enough.

Oh, and BTW Happy B’day Ron! [just a little belated]

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9 responses to “Town Notices

  1. I just downloaded the Final Fiscal Sustainability Task Force Report, again. I see that in Figure 1 they still don’t know the difference between “highest” and “lowest”. OK, I’ve told them how many times already?

    Then in Appendix J we have: “… it might be impossible to all agree and we need to respect our differences.
    Need? Surely they act according to the majority vote? Is this just code for doing nothing? Or is this code for not taking corrective action when “certain people” don’t agree? Perhaps we should all get such dispensation?

  2. I have always admired your ability to find a negative story from any community across Canada and draw a comparison to Wolfville as well as your uncanny ability to find something negative in just about everything the Town does. You have reached new heights with your criticism of the tree pick up and the Town leaving only one day for those who keep the twelve days of Christmas. Well done. Not many people would have thought of that.

  3. Not being born yesterday the comment was not there as an observation, it was a shot. You know it, I know and everyone who can read knows it.

    On a serious note I was not at the meeting but have talked to several people who were. They seemed to feel it was informative. Had I known there was going to be a break out session for input I may have gone but they were not on the agenda. I had read the report and did not have any questions I wanted to ask and that was all that was on the agenda. The report itself is in my view well written and puts a lot of flesh on what everyone knew or should have known. If there is a weakness in the report it is not emphasizing enough that this is not just a Wolfville problem but a provincial and to a degree a national one in that the current method of funding municipal governments is not sustainable. In this province it is made worse by provincial funding which encourages ribbon and remote development at provincial expense. We have and continue to pay for commercial development in New Minas that as a town would be 100% funded by town taxpayers. In addition Wolfville has the unique problem that its’ major industry is tax exempt unlike the situation in other provinces.

    Discussion of amalgamation continues to be floated and needs to be addressed. People need the facts on the financial changes that would take place and in particular that provincial funding would stay the same. The URB report on the potential amalgamation of Antigonish and Antigonish County makes good reading but it must be looked at in the vastly different geographical context between Antigonish and Wolfville. The Town in its’ analysis found little savings for its’ taxpayers.

    At this point in time Wolfville needs as a start to move away from global budgeting and get into program budgeting. In that way the citizens could see a bit more clearly what services are provided by the town and the cost of each service. We could then have an intelligent debate on where we want to go as a Town and what services we are prepared to pay for from the public purse. My fear is that in the end there would be little agreement other than we all want lower taxes. However, if it is done properly, it could be a useful and productive exercise. At least we would know what it costs us to pick up the Christmas trees.

    • “Wolfville needs as a start to move away from global budgeting and get into program budgeting.”
      Three cheers for that! But I’m not holding my breath. And don’t think that will change anything because it won’t. Council really has no interest in containing costs. Some time ago I used numbers reported by Kings Transit (presumably they were honest numbers, I can’t know for sure) to show that a small increase in their fare would enable them to break even. At the time, Kings Transit was costing Wolfville ratepayers $270,000/year. (As a direct subsidy, there are probably other hidden costs.) Council was pretty much uninterested. Holy cows first, ratepayers last…

    • And some say we are too subtle. Sigh.

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