Category Archives: Wolfville

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.

From the Mud Creek News

A submission from David Daniels, also available in the Mud Creek News which may, or may not be, at the Post Office.

LEADERSHIP BY OMISSION OR HOW DECISIONS ARE MADE BY DOING NOTHING

The RCMP’S long term contract under which it provides policing services to the Town is set to expire in March, 2012.  The Town budgeted $1,131,400 for police protection for fiscal year 2011-2012.  That amounts to slightly less than 15% of the Town’s total operating budget or about 1 out of every 7 tax dollars goes towards policing.

Has the Mayor led a public effort to investigate whether
Town residents are satisfied with the policing services provided by the RCMP before a new multi-year contract is signed?  Has the Mayor or Council explored alternatives to the RCMP such as a cooperative agreement with the Kentville police department or Kings County or forming its own police force, which it once had?  Has the Mayor even informed the public about the status of the RCMP contract?  (The two 2011 Mayor’s Newsletters did not contain any mention that the RCMP contract would be expiring in March of 2012.)

Chapter 38 of the Town’s Bylaws states that the Police Services Advisory Committee  “ . . . shall make a complete annual report to Town Council, and other reports from time to time as required.”   It also requires the Committee “To provide annually to Council and the NCO an evaluation of the policing services with the Town with reference to Policing Goals and Objectives as stated.”  

If such reports were available, at least the Council and public might be able to make an informed decision about the policing services provided by the RCMP.  But there are no such reports on the Town’s website. 

In 2009, the Town spent $20,000 on consultants to write a Public Engagement Tool Kit.  The Tool Kit includes a Public Participation Process 


Checklist/Guide.  If the Council had gone through the checklist, which it did not, it might have decided to engage the public on this issue.  

It isn’t as though this issue snuck up on the Mayor; it’s been known for years that the RCMP contract was ending in March 2012.  If the Town Council could spend time deciding whether the Witch Hazel should be the official tree of Wolfville, it had the time to discuss with the public whether it was getting its money’s worth from a $1.13 million expenditure.

I don’t know if the Town should sign another multi-year contract with the RCMP; I don’t know if there are other options available; or whether the contract for RCMP policing can be modified to better serve the needs of Town residents.  I didn’t live in the Town when it had its own police force.   

Why hasn’t the Mayor or Council pushed for public consultation on this issue?  Is it because the Mayor and other Council members feel it is not an important issue warranting public engagement?  Do they  believe that there are no good alternatives?   

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s too late.  By doing nothing, a decision has been made.

Submission re Gaspereau Ave Development

Here is a letter from David Daniels to Council concerning the plans for Gaspereau Ave. He has asked us to post here and we are happy to oblige.

January 9, 2012

Dear Council Members:

Please accept the following comments concerning the Gaspereau Avenue apartment project.
——————

I asked at a Council meeting whether the Council had provided any directions to Mr. Morrison for his upcoming negotiations with the developer of the Gaspereau Avenue project. The answer was “no”.

I do not understand why the Council would not provide guidance to staff when staff members are negotiating a development agreement (DA) which amounts to a contract between the Town and the developer.

Recall that Mr. Morrison has already negotiated one DA with the developer. That DA was unanimously rejected by Council. The developer no doubt expended a good deal of time and money working on this rejected proposal. In addition, the developer has now appealed the rejection to the UARB which has resulted in both the Town and the developer incurring legal costs.

Ms. Mombourquette and Mr. Morrison may prepare for the negotiations by reviewing the minutes or recording of the Council meeting at which the first proposal was rejected. But why not then confer directly with the Council members? Council members may provide further insight into what they would like to see and not see in the development. They also may raise new issues which they believe need to be addressed during the negotiations.

Let me be clear. I am not suggesting that individual Council members provide absolute conditions which must be satisfied before he would vote in favour of a proposal. Rather, Council members should be able to express concerns and issues which they believe should be part of the negotiations. Providing this sort of guidance does not preclude Council members from coming to the public hearing with an open mind and being amenable to persuasion.
——————

Although it may be difficult to predict the outcome of the pending UARB appeal, it is important when negotiating with the developer to have some sense of the developer’s chances of success. If the negotiations break down, the developer has the option of moving forward with the litigation. If his chances of success at the UARB are not good, then the Town is in a better position to make demands on the developer.

One question I do not know the answer to is: does the Town have the obligation to consider a second proposal if the negotiations break down while litigation is on hold? The answer might depend upon the nature of the consent given by the Town when it agreed to adjourn the UARB proceeding.

——————

The Town should consider retaining a qualified planning consultant to participate in its negotiations with the developer. (Perhaps some cooperative arrangement can be reached with Kings County.) The final building approved will very likely be a large one with the potential to have a significant impact upon the Town.

A qualified planner can assist the Town in setting out its negotiation position or in responding to particular details in the developer’s proposal. A qualified planner may bring suggestions and perspectives to the negotiation table which would not otherwise be thought of.

In addition, the involvement of a qualified planner might make future litigation less likely. For example, the developer may claim that an idea suggested by the Town is not reasonably consistent with the Town’s MPS or goes against accepted planning practices. If the Town’s idea has the okay of a qualified planner, the Town will have a comfort level in making the demand, and the developer will know that the idea has the imprimatur of a planner. The developer will be less likely to want to litigate if he knows that the Town planner will testify as an expert that the Council’s decision is in line with good planning practices and is reasonably consistent with Town’s MPS.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my comments.

Respectfully,

David A. Daniels

Vandals strike again

We wonder how and why these vandals choose their targets, or is it just random idiocy?

From the Police Briefs , Dec. 16th

Vandalism under investigation

Three incidents of vandalism took place in Wolfville during the weekend.

Early on Dec. 10 a window was broken at Wolfville School when a piece of metal was thrown at it.

On Dec. 11 some windows were broken at MP Scott Brison’s office off Harbourside Drive while a hammer was used to break windows at the Wolfville Memorial Library.

 

Video Fail

We could have done better than this video.

We hope no one paid anything to Innovative Systems for this. They didn’t even get out of their car.

Lounge issues

The last in the series of submissions from David Daniels .We wish to thank Mr. Daniels for keeping his eye on Council and Town doings and sharing his observations with townsfolk via this blog and The Mud Creek News.

LOUNGE HOURS
The issue of amending the Town’s Municipal Planning Strategy to allow the Town’s lounges to stay open an extra hour, till 2 a.m. for a maximum of 6 days a year is moving forward.  A public participation meeting and public hearing should take place in the coming months.
It has taken over 2 years for this issue to have a public airing.  Excessive drinking and health and behavioural concerns which may accompany excessive drinking are serious matters which the Town and Acadia University should be addressing.  But should public discussion be focused upon an extra six hours of serving liquor over the course of a entire year?   
David A. Daniels