To the Editor:
Now that the municipal elections are over and the new councils in Pictou County are being sworn in to begin a four-year term it is worthy to note that the end of this term will be in the year 2020.
As many will be aware, 2020 was the name chosen by the citizen group who have facilitated numerous public engagement sessions over the past few years.
As a result of these consultations, a vision for what people would like to see Pictou County be by the year 2020 was formulated. I will leave it to the organizers of the 2020 group to speak to the vision created during these exercises but it is suffice to say that the public participants came up with a clear picture of what they would like to see Pictou County be by 2020.
It is important that all newly elected and returning municipal councillors review these visions.
One of the most common visions was that Pictou County would be united by 2020.
As this new term begins and the rancour and polarization of the MOU process is put to rest, it is critical for municipal leaders to learn from it. The lessons are many, but number one should be a realization that the public needs to have input into major decisions and they need to have that input before decisions are made.
On a positive note, it is also important to recognize the fact that people became engaged like never before in the municipal process. Municipal leaders need to capitalize on this and create more opportunities for citizen input.
With the exception of Westville, the new councils have new people elected in all units. In addition to the many new councillors there are new mayors in four of the towns and a new warden in the county.
While acknowledging the significant contributions of the many retiring municipal councillors and mayors and in no way diminishing their work, there is always a feeling of renewal with the beginning of a new term with many fresh faces. Obviously, with the rather significant change in Pictou County, this is very much the case this year.
Let us build on this renewal, while being mindful of the work done in the past, and pledge to all work together with renewed vigour towards 2020, with a goal to achieve as many of the visions as possible identified by citizens over the past couple of years. I, for one, believe our best days in Pictou County are ahead of us and with new councils in place, it is time for a new start on that path.