Tom MacEwan, chief administrative officer for the Municipality of Kings, left, and his counterpart from Kentville, Mark Phillips, listen to input on threats posed to the KPSC and by regional government. - Jennifer Hoegg, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Jennifer Hoegg
Village representatives don’t sit at Kings Partnership Steering Committee table, but their influence was felt during the Oct. 17 meeting.
Needing to get input from village partners was cited by Kings County Deputy Warden Mike Ennis as a reason for the county’s hesitation to commit to a governance study immediately.
The committee received a letter from Dave Chaulk, chairman of New Minas’ village commission, requesting that five of the county’s villages – New Minas, Port Williams, Kingston, Canning and Greenwood – “be permitted to sit on the Kings Partnership Steering Committee as active members.”
The villages of Aylesford and Cornwallis Square were not mentioned in the letter.
Members of the partnership approved a motion to send the villages’ request back to the partner councils for discussion.
Berwick Coun. John Prall said the matter had been discussed in the past and it was decided not to add the villages to the KPSC.
“They are not incorporated municipal units like the rest of us are,” Boyd said, “and they do have a voice through their county representative. Their concerns should be voiced through the County of Kings and not through the partnership.”
Dave Ritcey, co-chairman of the Kings Concerned Citizens’ group, wrote to the partnership in July asking that it meet more frequently than quarterly. Members of the partnership voted Oct. 17 to direct the question back to member councils.
“The decision was to ping pong the request for more frequent meetings back to the councils for their input and then back to the partnership steering committee,” Ritcey said.
“It speaks to a lack of leadership to make decisions at the Kings Partnership Steering Committee,” he said. “That’s a void that we have to address and we have to find a solution. We need decisions here, at this level.”
Joint council session
Members of all partner councils were invited to join committee members for the day-long session. This is the first joint council to be held in four years, as the partnership did not meet between 2009 and 2012.
From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., approximately 30 councillors, mayors and deputy mayors heard presentations on regional projects, including updates on the regional enterprise network, fire services, policing and Kings 2050.
After lunch, participants broke into small groups to do a “SWOT analysis” - discussing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of both the partnership and regional co-operation.
One weakness that was mentioned repeatedly was the problem of record keeping. There is no dedicated administrative support for the partnership; instead, individual CAOs keep minutes, agendas and documents.
“There were so many things today we could’ve gone back and looked in the record,” Boyd said. “There could’ve been proper dictation again.”
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