Roundabout way toward solution

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Some were optimistic when the Town of Stellarton indicated it would seek an alternative to its policing service to cut down on costs. Some weren’t.

Alas, after people got their hopes up about a step toward more efficient, less costly policing, the town has decided to stick with the status quo – for now. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. It’s just that in considering proposals, the police review committee came to realize the scale of such a change. They bit off more than they could chew, and they’d also limited themselves in the range of options.

The wish now is for the province’s justice minister to implement a police study for the county overall, with a view toward amalgamating forces. Finally, official acknowledgement that a county-wide look at services is the way this should have been approached in the first place. It’s slowly heading in the right direction.

That won’t stop many from commenting about the waste of time and money for those involved – and for the staff of other towns and other police services that became involved upon Stellarton’s invitation. The Town of New Glasgow was quite miffed, as evidenced in the news release issued last week upon learning that their proposal – which they declared was a sound one – was to be turned down.

This exercise begun last year by Stellarton, with its stops and starts and jerky motion to and fro, should be some indication that a lot of governance issues facing this county’s municipalities are too big for them to deal with piecemeal. They need to be looked at from a regional vantage point, rather than get shuffled into the smaller scope of one or two towns.

One way of getting something right is the process of eliminating all the wrong options first. But that’s arduous, costly and frustrating.

While we’re looking at policing, why can’t the municipal leaders realize there’s a whole passel of regional matters that should be reviewed just like the word suggests – regionally.

Geographic location: New Glasgow

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