Updates from David Daniels and the MUD Creek News.
POLICE COMMITTEE MINUTES (UPDATE)
In the last issue of the MCN I pointed out that there were “missing” minutes from the Town’s website of the RCMP Advisory Board. Were the minutes not taken, not posted, or were meetings not held?
After I made my comment, minutes of the Board have now been posted. The Board had been meeting, and minutes taken, but were never posted. That failure has been remedied.
But as indicated in the article above on the RCMP contract, the Board is required to do annual reports. There are no Board annual reports as required by Ch. 38 on the Town’s website. I asked the Chair of the Committee, Councilor Hugh Simpson, about the missing reports. He replied that he would refer this matter to Board at its next meeting.
ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS (UPDATE)
In the last issue of MCN I provided figures concerning the Town’s administrative costs versus Antigonish’s and Kentville’s. CAO Mombourquette responded in an email to me: “As expected, the difference between the total ‘Administration’ is due to the categorization of amounts. There are different expenses included in ‘Administration’ in Wolfville, versus Kentville, versus Antigonish. This financial presentation is not dictated by either the Province or the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) and therefore, the Towns are left to decide how to best reflect their organization.”
The figures she provided included the following under the category “Wages and benefits”. Wolfville: $509,000; Kentville: $525,695; Antigonish: $504,790.
Unfortunately, the information on the Towns’ websites does not provide further breakdown on these numbers. An appropriate apples to apples and oranges to oranges comparison would be possible by having detailed information on administrative staff numbers and their functions. And of course, numbers cannot alone provide information on productivity/effectiveness of staff.
GASPEREAU AVE. APT (UPDATE)
At the invitation of the developers, a meeting was held on Thursday evening, January 12th. In attendance were about 10 neighbourhood residents, four individuals representing the developer, CAO Mombourquette and Director of Planning Morrison and Councilor Keith Irving. The latter three did not speak at the meeting.
There was an exchange of ideas. The neighbours set out their concerns, which focused on density and the design requirements of any new building(s) to be proposed. The developers promised to return with some rough ideas for a new proposal.
The litigation before the UARB on the first proposal which was rejected by Council 6-0 remains on hold.
LOUNGE HOURS (UPDATE)
Lounge hours extension and the problems of alcohol consumption in the Town were discussed at the January 12th Council Strategy and Policy meeting.
Three separate and perhaps related issues were recognized. (1) amending the Municipal Planning Strategy to permit lounges to serve alcohol beyond 1:00 a.m. for up to six days a year; (2) the disruption to neighbourhoods located in the Town core resulting from too much student drinking; and (3) devising a Community Alcohol Management Strategy.
The Council decided to move forward as soon as possible with issue (1). Council will also take steps to address issue (2); perhaps with the formation of a task force to come up with actionable suggestions. Council reached consensus that issue (3) could not be addressed since it required more resources than the Town had available to it.
David A. Daniels