Members of a group calling for a governance study in Kings County suspected there would be similarities between what they’ve been advocating for and the findings of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy.
Dave Ritcey, co-chairman of the Kings Citizens Coalition, said the Ivany commission report delivered a strong message in support of the need for municipal governance reform across the province. Ritcey was in attendance for the release of the report at Pier 21 in Halifax on Feb. 12. There were about 300 people there and the report was “very well received,” he added.
“They produced a very impressive report summarizing what Nova Scotians are telling Nova Scotians,” Ritcey said. “I heard a wake-up call. I heard a call to action.”
He said citizens across the province have been inspired through the consultation process that led to the commission’s report. Ritcey said the KCC was inspired to do its part and he feels they have through a series of YouTube videos they released in advance of the report.
Ritcey describes the commission’s work as a report to citizens, the business community and government. It includes 19 goals and 12 strategic imperatives, two of each relating to municipal governance. He said the report makes the point that the status quo is not an option and we need leadership.
“We want to be open for business but we have to get our own house in order first,” Ritcey said.
The commission calls on the provincial government to “initiate a comprehensive review of current municipal government structures...” The KCC sees this as a powerful statement that applies as directly to Kings County as anywhere else in the province, Ritcey said.
The coalition wants the options outlined and evaluated in-depth so local officials can make good decisions with full, unbiased information. This must include but go beyond simple financial efficiency for tax purposes: it must also include strategic oversight, collaboration, policy alignment and exploring community identity.
Read more about the KCC’s recent actions in the Feb. 20 edition of the Register.