OK, it's yesterday's news --- check out the result.

OK, it's yesterday's news --- check out the result.

Were you there?

There was a candidates evening October 8 at 7:30 at the gym in Wolfville School. It was moderated by Acadia University political science professor, Greg Pyrcz. The following is flavoured by my take on addresses by the candidates and their answers to questions.
A link to candidates posters, thanks Wolfville Watch List of candidates and polling information.

Who is running for Mayor of Wolfville ????

Wolfville Watch and Wendy Elliot got me curious about matching policy platforms to names and records... The following is just a second stab that documents information at hand. I include links where possible. In summary, we have Robert Stead who stands for "more of the same" and three candidates who want to stand for substantial change.

On the key financial issues George Townsend and Garry Balcom aim to reduce Council expenditure by subjecting it to detailed scrutiny. George Townsend promotes a very public "opening of the books" whereas Garry Balcom will establish a task-oriented "Finance Committee". Jeff Cantwell is less inclined to getting into the details but wishes to achieve similar goals by better controlling the broader objectives. All three of these candidates expressed an intention to focus on the sorts of things that most of us would call core municipal business.

One has to worry that the vote for real fiscal responsibility will be split 3 ways and we'll get "more of the same" by default. I wish we could get all three of these guys on council... even if they can't all be Mayor.

Candidates for the position of Councillor, Town of Wolfville

A Final Thought

I'm sure all the candidates and incumbents are nice. Some of them seem to be running for office on the premise that it's a popularity contest. I say we need some hard-headed analytical representatives who are also nice to our wealth and our infrastructure.

Not running for Mayor, but looks interesting

Q/A Eric Hughs

  1. What is your plan for getting property tax under control?
  2. Do you think it is reasonable for the Town to tax some businesses and subsidize their competitors? (ie the outrageous proposal to spend a quarter of a million tax dollars on the Farmers Market).
  3. Do you have a website where you outline your position on the major issues (there are many)?

From  	View message header detail Eric Hughes  
Sent  	Thursday, October 2, 2008 11:15 pm
Subject  	RE: Information

Since we're living in a democracy, once elected I intend to represent the voices of the majority of the towns people not just my own. My intension is to get as much feedback as I can from public forums, meetups, opinion polls, internet surveys, stats (Stats Canada) and internet blogs to get the towns people like yourself involved in creating policies and change. Based on that, only then would I be able to specifically tell you my stance on taxes.
 
Making a statement about my stance on taxes before collecting this information would be defeating the very platform / mandate I hope to achieve. The way I see it what is currently lacking on the board right now is that councilors are making decisions based on their own opinions without taking into account the voices, opinions’ and needs of the towns people like yourself. In terms of future planning, once elected I intend to work very closely with the other counselors to combine their planning experience with my fresh perspective and diplomatic stance bringing to the table the very essence of what the towns people want.
 
However speaking from a perspective of a young family with two young children and a small business owner/self employed wife living in Wolfville, taxes are of course a priority.
 
I hope I can count on your support as I will be looking for people to get involved as you have by writing to me your concerns.

Cheers
 
Eric

I see Eric has a firm grasp of the issues...

Why I think the tax bill is so important?

Look, much as I complain, I can afford my tax bill. That can't be said for everyone. Home-grown Wolfvillian Harold Stewart wonders how he can stay in his house in Wolfville when he retires. Everyone in the Wolfville School Hall could feel his pain.

The MPS solution --- adopted by the outgoing Council --- is to build high-density low-cost housing. That's not a dignified solution for Harold. Indeed, it would be a cruel joke. Forced, by high taxes, to sell his home. The likes of Zimmerman, Stead, Wrye, and Mangle would siphon off a Deed Transfer tax. Then, when he bought his new home they would, like engorged leeches, drain another pint of blood. (And we should be wary: Henderson, Hughs, and Richardson have yet to take a position on this morally bankrupt tax.)

Getting taxes down to a sustainable level will help Harold. It can't happen overnight because the town has saddle-bags full of debt and has hired an excessive top-tier of staff that would be more befitting a community of 30,000 than 3,000.

Most importantly, every inch taxes come down is another degree of freedom for growing businesses and jobs in Wolfville. As Eric says, how come everyone here is retired --- where is the 30-something generation? Small differences can make big differences. Honestly, I see Health Services as a rising industry in Wolfville. One new business opens up a niche for another. Wolfville will be the Restaurant Capital of the Valley --- with a dinner theatre and a bakery, no less! Each new niche is another opportunity for a young and energetic 30-something year old.

Wolfville will have young adults who will be the bridge to the exuberant youth of Acadia University. Once upon a time, before he was consumed by the Dark Side of the Force, there was an impressive young university student who was also on Council --- then his name was Robert Wrye. I foresee a new day, a better day, when we rise above the tax-until-you drop mentality of Darth Lord Stead and his clone army.