Wolfville Election 2012There will be a municipal debate between mayoralty and council candidates October 9 (7pm) at University Hall, Acadia University, Wolfville. Moderator: Dr. Rachel Brickner
And they're off.
First Out of the Gate, Wendy Donovan for CouncillorCheck Wendy Donovan out on FaceBook or Twitter. I never could get the hang of being a twit on Twitter. So I read her hard-copy brochure, instead.
My conclusion, Wendy is taxxe and spendde.
- Wendy seems to think that property standards need improving. I guess she's seen our place. We'd fix it up, honestly, just as soon as we finish paying the property taxxe. (Wolfville is too classy to just have tax.)
- And Wendy has a plan to deal with those rowdy kids from Acadia U, improved bylaws and better enforcement. Hells bells Wendy, it's not as though we don't already pay for the Rolls Royce of police forces!
- Wendy thinks that Council should make it a priority to control rental properties. Sounds like Wendy will be directing Council to hire more sticky-nosed bureaucrats to meddle in other peoples business. Wonder how much that'll cost us?
- Wendy is big on Imagine Wolfville. I had a quick squizze. As far as I can see, there seems to be a bunch of stuff about subsidizing churches and just about everything else that anyone could "imagine".
- Wendy is big on making a Wolfville a walkable/bikeable community. This sort of talk is usually code for eliminating parking spaces and cluttering up the roads. It makes my arthritic knee ach.
Still, Wendy is perfectly nonspecific. It seems like she's into master plans and talk feasts. Heck, the most-walked road that doesn't already have a foot path is Wickwire.
- Wendy wants "residents and businesses to seize the opportunities around us". It seems that this should be done in order to sustain the Town of Wolfville in the style to which it has become accustomed! In the old days we worked for "the man", nowadays we work for "The Town".
- Wendy is not keen on adding to the taxxe burden of local businesses. Apparently Wendy thinks that the residential taxxe base is insufficient. Wendy has a plan to gather more money for "The Town" by broadening the taxxe base. It's hard to figure out what specifically, if anything, Wendy might have on her mind:
- Perhaps Wendy thinks to taxxe the nonresidents?
- Perhaps Wendy thinks to have a Towne of Wolfvillee sales taxxe or an income taxxe --- only residents wouldn't have to payye it, of course...
- Beats me.
Second to scarper out of the blocks, David Mangle for Councillor.Our well-known peacenik, David Mangle, stopped by for a brief chat and dropped off his hard-copy brochure. Some of David's ideas for 2012-2016 are:
I had a concern which I raised with David. Remember, gentle reader, how the Town of Wolfville put the skids to the rezoning of the Elderkin and Hennigar farms. The Town argued that rezoning would be detrimental to the Town water supply. I pointed out to David that a farm is NOT a pristine ecosystem. Rather, a farm should be thought of as a highly eutrophic food factory. I didn't like the idea that my drinking water might have drained from a farm. David assured me that my fear was unfounded because the well was very deep and extracted water that had not come from the farms. But if that is true, then surely the Town of Wolfville has been fraudulent. You can't argue that on the one hand the farms have nothing to do with the Town water supply while arguing on the other hand they are critical to the Town water supply!
- Implement the Town's Active Transportation and Economic Sustainability Plans. Funny that, on my way back from the university gym I had thought to swing into town and pick up some groceries. The bloody traffic was jammed as far as the eye could see. Bet there wasn't any parking, anyway. Drove down to New Minas, instead.
- Continue to be the cultural centre of the Annapolis Valley through support of festivals, individuals, and organisations. Well, we're all individuals and we all have culture --- right? I guess satire, criticial analysis and the defence of reason don't qualify as culture in the unfair Town of Wolfville. Anyway, isn't the "cultural centre" claim just a tad presumptive? Obviously, David and I have very different ideas about culture. I suggest that David fund his culture out of his pocket, not mine.
- Continue to promote a vibrant downtown. Yep, might go there one day.
- Encourage the creation of more affordable housing. I totally agree. If David would only reduce our outrageous property taxxe then our housing would be much more affordable!
Of course, that's not what David has in mind. His idea of affordable housing is to gut me until I'm a bled-out carcase so that he can distribute my megre savings to some sod who he finds to be more to his liking. When I'm destitute, David will certainly look after me, right?
- Continue to work with Acadia University on mutually beneficial programs and projects. How could I disagree? But watch out for the devil in the detail!
- Continue to support Wolfville School Improvement Projects. As I understand things, the Town is mandated to make a contribution to education costs? Again, only the specifics matter --- no specifics, no point even talking about it.
- Continue to improve Reservoir Park and Wolfville's trails systems. Yep David, I'll watch for you next time I'm slashing back the invassive species in the University woods. And we're still waiting for a footpath on upper and lower Wickwire. Oh, I forgot, that's the part of Town that's just supposed to shutup and pay and accept the nothing that we get.
- Continue to work for a fiscally responsible Wolfville. Folks, check out the balance sheet. I was wrong, the Town of Wolfville does fund satire!
- Continue to work for Town and University harmony. Harmony sounds braindead boring. I love those rowdy kids. They remind me of better days.
I hold David in high regard for exposing this fraud. On the negative side, David is inclined to taxxe and spendde.
Rounding the bend with his nose scraping the rails, it's Hugh Simpson for Councillor.Hugh dropped off his brochure while I was out. Hugh the hero is a man of some experience. Here are a few of his "Goals and Priorities for the Next Council".
My conclusion: Hugh is trying to get off his taxxe and spendde habit --- but like alcohol, it's not an easy thing to break free from. Perhaps, with better company, Hugh might make the breakthrough!
- Continue to lead in ensuring that a business-like approach is taken to manage the affairs of the Town, focusing on priorities, accountability, controlling expenditures and budgeting responsibly. Sounds good to me. A good question for Hugh: "What went wrong with the last budget?"
- Implement the Economic Development Plan and Downtown Physical Plan as a response to the findings of the Fiscal Task Force to develop our commercial sector. Yeh, that's the report that compares Wolfville to a bunch of other hugely over-taxed towns in Nova Scotia... Look, compared to where I came from (Central Coast, Australia) ALL property owners in these Nova Scotia towns are paying 3-4 times more property tax that would reasonable!
- Act on the recommendations of the Transportation Study to increase citizen choices, including developing trails, cycling, walking, promoting recreation and health/well being. I'd settle for fixing the infamous Wolfville traffic jam --- and a place to park when (if ever) one finally arrives in Town.
- Implement the solutions proposed by the Wolfville Working group addressing the negative impacts on neighbourhoods of alcohol consumption. On the positive side, C2H5OH is one way to avoid being driven to distraction by the bureaucrats!
- Seek feedback from citizens and thoughtfully decide on matters of planning and zoning to maintain the character of our Town. Look, everytime I thoughtfully consider the goings on at the Town of Wolfville, I end up having a couple of sleepless nights. C2H5OH may not be the best solution, but sometimes nothing else will do the job...
- Work to ensure that Council communicates transparently and effectively with all citizens, seeking citizen input. It has been my experience that Councillors only listen to those pet citizens who blindly agree with them (see below).
- Continue to improve and repair Town infrastructure (streets and sidewalks) and provide core services. A worthy goal and I have repeatedly suggested that the operating budget is three times too high and the Capital Budget is half what it should be. Council has been DEAF, DUMB, BLIND AND MUTE to those who ask for the necessary restructuring!
- Continue to partner with Acadia for our joint benefit. Since alcohol will no longer do, I guess a joint may be our only option?
- Work to improve the sustainability of our Town. Sustain the Town, bleed to citizenary dry!
- Insure the future success of Wolfville Shool. Insure or ensure? I guess the Town of Wolfville could offer to give a "sustainability" lesson?
- Work to make Wolfville an attractive, affordable Community to live in for all citizens. Oh, I guess that's why we still have the "Welcome to Wolfville Tax". What a rip!
You've seen the signs and now he's racing down the home straight, it's Garry Balcom for Councillor.Garry Balcom dropped by. No frilly pamphlet. Direct and to the point, Garry seems to understand that the Town operating budget is an overstuffed, wallet-sucking blackhole that has produced nothing but talk feasts and decaying infrastructure. I get the feeling that Garry is a realist and rather too straight to be a politician's politician --- not a proponent of silly frilly stuff. 'nuff said.