It was an unneeded internal report on a needed amalgamation study.
But for some reason it was a step the Municipality of Shelburne felt it had to take.
Town of Shelburne officials had expressed frustration with the delay, but accepted there was nothing they could do but wait for the Municipality to complete it.
It arrived last week with a dull thud.
For those who believe an amalgamation of the two municipal units is a needed, progressive step in the right direction, the report came as a supreme disappointment, coming to the opposite conclusions of a previous ad hoc amalgamation committee.
Ignoring that committee’s findings and referring to that joint council group as “a not so subtle pro amalgamation body,” the report said that group had deviated from its mandate to examine the issue objectively.
And that may be true.
If this group of duly elected municipal and town councillors were “pro-amalgamation” then the Municipality of Shelburne staff that wrote this report were decidedly “anti-amalgamation.”
Almost everything in this staff report is skewed.
It questions the motives of the Town of Shelburne, it goes as far as to list a full page of “amalgamation myths” and it offers the conclusion that amalgamation will not save money, reduce duplication or reduce costs.
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In its first page the report points out that the discussion has been at the political level and has been based more on rhetoric and promoting personal views than on “the actual analysis of the issues.”
But if you are looking for an independent, objective view, you won’t find it in the report.
All we’ve ever asked is that the town and municipality come together and have an independent body conduct an objective study on the subject. That’s it.
This report asks that councillors go back and do more soul-searching before even taking that gentle step.
We had questioned earlier this year how a municipal unit could ask staff who would be affected directly by an amalgamation to write an unbiased report on the subject.
The answer is clear now that they couldn’t.
But from our perspective it wasn’t right to ask in the first place.