STELLARTON – Monday night Stellarton town council unanimously approved a motion put forward by Coun. Denise Taylor to participate in a regional governance study with $25,000 in funding from the town towards the cost.
“There are smaller units than ours that were willing to put that money forward and if we want to work together as a cohesive unit in Pictou County we have to do it and this is a very good way to start,” said Taylor prior to the motion being passed. “We don’t know where it’s going to go and we don’t know if amalgamation is the right thing or not, but until you ask the question and you get the answers you can’t make an informed decision, so I really believe we need to move forward with this.”
The motion stated that the town would take part in the full study, with the financial contribution of the $25,000 and that after the study was completed they would take the information from the study and council would vote to decide how to move forward based on recommendations. It also stated that members of council and the town would make information available to those doing the study with full disclosure of information necessary.
Prior to the motion passing Coun. George Megeney pointed out that Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations John MacDonell stated in a letter that the provincial government would implement the results of the study. Councillors discussed this at length stating that the motion needed to be clear that it would the council’s decision as to whether they implement the recommendations.
“If you agree to the study you’re agreeing to the findings, but anyway…” said Mayor Joe Gennoe to Taylor after Megeney pointed out similar situations in Cape Breton and Halifax where they government forced governing bodies to follow the recommendations of studies.
The towns of Trenton, Pictou, New Glasgow and the Municipality of Pictou County had previously committed to the full governance study with funding contributions of $25,000 from each unit. Since the municipal election the Town of Westville doesn’t have a new position on the governance study according Stellarton’s clerk, which is agreeing to the full study with the province paying 100 per cent of the cost.