Give me a break! After 13 yrs it’s late to be rethinking amalgamation!

Today’s Sunday Herald ran a Front page lead story that started clip_image002

Premier Rodney MacDonald is promising an immediate, independent review of HRM amalgamation if his Tories return to power.

The premier said some people are concerned their communities’ interests are being lost in the shuffle, while others are unhappy ING050909rodney2.jpgwith the services they get for the taxes they pay. He said part of the review will be community consultation.

“Whether you are from Ecum Secum or you are from Hubbards or you are from the peninsula of Halifax, I believe that people deserve the opportunity to have input into that process,” he said Saturday morning at the headquarters of George Jordan, the Tory candidate for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley. ….. Read the full story!!!

In my opinion this is nothing but cheep politics by a government desperate to hold on to power … clutching at straws, costly, emotional, but totally useless straws.

When Dr. John (Savage) forced the amalgamation on the two large municipalities of Halifax-Dartmouth and what is now the Cape Breton Regional Municipality his rationalization was that the merged units would be able to deliver services to their constituents more efficiently and at less cost. Cut back on duplication of administration services and things would work better.

Dr. John (Savage) enjoyed a majority government and chose to ‘force’ the merger by rewriting the Municipalities Act of Nova Scotia without consulting the municipalities. His actions were quick, decisive and permanent. If he had gone the consultation rout we’d still be studying the issue.

From where I sit this grand experiment has worked, for the most part, in Halifax, any dissention that exists comes from those few but vocal critics who are still upset over loosing their separate identities.

About every three months someone writes a letter to the editor bemoaning the situation and the media asks the question of those elected officials and round and round it goes… there has been plenty of opportunity for navel gazing by municipal and provincial governments and none have felt the need to address the situation. The trampoline jumping, fiddle playing premier himself has had the opportunity to facilitate such a review over the past three years but he waited till an election to give the situation any credence.

Mr. MacDonald said the study, which would take about a year, would be put out to tender. He would not estimate how much it would cost, except to say it would probably be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“It won’t be an overly expensive initiative,” the premier said.….. Read the full story!!!

I’m sorry but I need another break …. If and I repeat IF this type of study was to be commissioned with all the focus groups, public consultation, and input from special interest groups a year long commitment by any consultancy worth its weight would not be cheap. It’s my humble opinion that a report of this nature would cost in the Hundreds of thousands and be a waste of money.

Yes there are things that could be improved in how HRM functions but those changes can be done through adjusting the organizational structure of the administration and service delivery systems. The Municipality of Halifax recently received its own charter and therefore can make whatever changes it needs with out input or permission from the Provincial Government.

Mayor Peter (is he a conservative?)Kelly in a statement in the same article gave half hearted support to the idea of a study but did point at the reality of what it has cost to get where we are and that together is better. Now remember this is a Mayor who has a reputation for using ‘studies’ and ‘public consultations’ to hide behind and has been able to sit on the fence on just about every key issue that has faced the HRM during his tenure as our leaderless mayor.

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly said he welcomes the review, saying he hopes it will encourage all party leaders to share their ideas on how to make the municipality stronger and more competitive.

The mayor said the debate should be about more than just the notion of de-amalgamation.

"We need to look at the big picture, the big reason for being, and not just the time or the flavour of the day," he said Friday evening.

The mayor believes in a united HRM.

"I believe in our future and to piecemeal it apart, to potentially piecemeal it apart, would be harmful to many. And the cost implications, it cost us tens of millions to get here and we’re still paying some of those price elements," Mr. Kelly said. ….. Read the full story!!!

It’s my opinion that you don’t go backwards… de-amalgamation is NOT an option, all that’s needed is to identify the components of the current model that require adjustment, devise a plan that cures those issues, have the balls [leadership] to make the changes and get on with life. There is that reoccurring theme… Political Will & Leadership … does it exist in Nova Scotia!!!!

So this piece of Political Election News is nothing but rhetoric… an easy promise to make by a premier who’s unlikely to regain power and if what I’m hearing from my cousins in his home riding is accurate a Premier who might actually loose his own seat.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s