If you’re confused over the direction local governance in the area might be headed, you’re excused. By no means are you alone.
At least, the news that the will remains among the municipalities to continue finding better ways to share and administrate services is cause for hope.
On Friday, residents learned that the towns of New Glasgow and Pictou and the Municipality of Pictou County are working toward a memorandum of understanding in regard to governance and service delivery.
Timing is everything, we sometimes say. But in this case timing was mind-boggling, since it came just days after learning the province would not fund any portion of a proposed governance study that had been hashed over and over among the six local municipalities for a couple of years now.
Understandable the withdrawal was: it had been evident, as Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey said, that agreement was lacking among the municipalities on the aim of the study.
But this new development: accounts vary as to when the collaboration among the three municipalities began to hatch.
Certainly news of it came as a surprise to leaders in the other towns, who were just getting over the shutdown of the first study proposal.
We can only hope the town representatives not kept in the loop will not feel betrayed.
At any rate, New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan has made it clear they will share the memorandum of understanding when it’s ready with the other towns, and that they will be welcome to participate.
And possibly that is the more practical approach. A little like the adage “Too many cooks spoil the broth’: if the three municipalities working toward the MOU are basing it on common ground already shared in some areas, and can envision strands to weave into future co-operation, that might well prove the best way to get started.
This development sure beats the despair many felt just days ago. All we ask is: keep residents informed on the progress. We’re all ears.