To the editor,
A number of years ago the six school boards in Pictou County were amalgamated into one mega board with some 36 members.
Similarly, the six administration units were amalgamated and in fact additional staff were added. The result was a cumbersome structure, and expensive. For example, to interview for spare janitors at least 10 board members would be in attendance along with the CEO, two senior staff, a secretary and the supervisor of maintenance, who actually conducted the interviews – and everyone received a $60 meeting fee!
The recent Ivany report paints a very grim picture of the future of Nova Scotia – and perhaps more so of Pictou County with the recent Michelin announcement.
Without a doubt municipal amalgamation will come to Pictou County, preferably sooner rather than later. More than 40 councillors are currently in place.
The provincial government ought to appoint an interim council of eight – one for each unit, except two for New Glasgow and two for the county, due to their population differential – and one mayor to eventually be elected at large (from existing councils).
The interim council must have immediate authority over all financial decisions of the existing councils to prevent the usual ‘hanky panky’ that can take place during an amalgamation.
The interim council would focus on:
– Hiring an administrative team
– Restructuring the bylaws
– Hiring legal services
– Restructuring employee contracts
– Involving business and community members in a comprehensive review of the Ivany report and subsequently developing a strategic plan for the next five years
– Developing a consolidated budget
– Preparing for an election, of eight councillors and one mayor
We need to hit the ground running and start addressing the serious concerns facing our community in a focused, creative manner. With some visionary, courageous leadership we can do it.
RR1 New Glasgow