Pictou-Advocate-opinion

Councillors did their jobs of bringing vote forward

Opinion

To the Editor:

On May 28 the people of Pictou County spoke loud and clear when they voted NO to amalgamation.

Notwithstanding the outcome,  councils’ members worked tirelessly for two years to bring an option forward upon which we could debate and eventually cast our vote. The professional study results suggested that amalgamating could impact positively on our economy and provide an opportunity that would give us a louder singular voice and lead us into a more promising future.

The overall county constituents did not support this proposal. That is what the democratic process is all about – presenting and assessing new ideas, voicing concerns/support and then moving in a direction that reflects the views of the majority.

How would we ever have had the opportunity to assess whether or not amalgamation is the answer, if it had not been brought forward as an option?  If the May 28 plebiscite had not been presented to us how would we ever know if the potential opportunities/criticisms would be favoured or dismissed by the majority of our residents?

Well, now we know!

The Amalgamation Commit-tee provided a platform for thoughtful discussion. I don’t believe they were looking for ways to increase residential taxes, or abandon our individual identities, or shift the power from one town to another.   I believe there was a credible endeavour to present an option that we could each consider, and then cast our ballot to either accept or reject.

Throughout this entire process it was reiterated that the individual units’ votes would be tallied and those results would be published – reflecting each participating unit’s wishes.
I also understood that the councillors would represent the ‘majority’ in each unit, regardless of their personal points of view.

That is the councillors’ job – to reflect the wishes of their own constituents and drive the agenda in the direction of the majority.  It is also their job to develop their own opinions and be prepared to share them if asked by their constituents.

So, I am feeling rather disappointed, (or perhaps I should say appalled) to have heard that some councillors have been told not to bother running in the municipal election of 2016 because they brought the Yes side of the argument to the forefront.

These town and rural councillors worked diligently to bring forward an option for their constituents’ consideration – and the people have spoken.  And now, some have been advised by some emotionally immature residents not to bother running for council in the next municipal election.

Who gave these nay sayers the bold right to advise who should or should not run for council? This sounds like something you might hear down in Alabama! We need representatives on council who are motivated and willing to think outside the box and present new ideas.

The council members brought forward a proposal that created debate, both negative and positive – that’s their job!

Are we seriously suggesting that residents should only run for the next council if they voted no in the recent plebiscite? If we want robots, why not go on line and just order them?

If those particular nay-sayers believe they have the right to dictate who should or should not run for council, they are certainly not speaking for me.

Carolyn Duncan
Stellarton

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