Don’t mistake the way forward

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It looks like everyone was on the same page after all. Although residents in Pictou County witnessed foot dragging among some municipal leaders over a governance study, the latest pitch – to come up with a memorandum of understanding on regional issues – appears to be getting everyone on board.

That can only be good. The bigger the ‘coalition of the willing,’ the better.

Westville town councillors discussed the proposed MOU Monday night, with Coun. Lennie White congratulating New Glasgow, the Town of Pictou and Pictou County for getting the ball rolling. But the longtime proponent of a governance study for the local municipalities also said Westville needs to be at the table in the creation of this memorandum.

Many were mystified by the quick turn of events: after the province announced it was pulling its share of funding toward a governance study – because the municipalities didn’t seem to agree on its aim – just days later, three of the municipalities announced they would go ahead with a memorandum of understanding to seek avenues of co-operation.

Not surprisingly, those not invited into the inner circle were taken aback.

Trenton Mayor Glen MacKinnon expressed disappointment that his town wasn’t included.

We’ve never heard any explanation of how and why the quest for a memorandum was initially hatched – perhaps the governance study proposal had stagnated to the point that some of the municipal leaders expected the province to bail.

At any rate, while the memorandum of understanding idea initially was announced on behalf of three municipalities, the invitation was there from the beginning for the rest to join as the process took shape. And it’s looking like the interest is there among all six.

We can only hope any suspicions or hurt feelings among councillors who felt blindsided by the initial announcement can be left behind. If this new attempt to enhance sharing and co-operation is to get anywhere, it’ll require an entirely positive attitude.

Geographic location: Westville, Pictou County, New Glasgow Trenton

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