Survey offers residents chance to weigh in on Hantsport dissolution

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The little Town of Hantsport, which was established a long time ago in 1895, has maintained its place and has been fought forever since by our tireless citizens during those hills and valleys periods. It is now facing its greatest threat ever: dissolution or devolution, whatever some choose to have you believe.

This has been brought upon us by a nervous mayor and a few of his councillors fearing we’re going down in flames. Yet, we had a surplus last year according to the latest audit.

We’re in an awful financial state with no way out except to raise our taxes. Well, for openers, I don’t know of many places in our entire country where the taxes are going down. I do know of a few places that are showing balanced budgets year in and year out. Obviously some of these places have more citizens and a larger corporate base to derive funds from to look after their own house.

However, even little Hantsport, if managed better, could find its sustainability faster than our present council wants to see our demise.

There’s a question I answered on the latest Town of Hantsport’s town dissolution survey that was given to us in our mailboxes to fill out and get in by Friday, Aug. 29. It asks in Question 6: Are you currently satisfied with the level of services provided by the town? They list a choice of three answers: Yes, No, Uncertain.

I answered yes and later on I wrote in this survey how wonderfully cleared our streets are in the wintertime and how fast and effective our fire department and emergency services are here.

My wife and I moved here five years ago in October and during this time I’ve been amazed at the services provided by this small town. The odd thing about this observation and my answer is that administration has deemed it necessary to reduce our operating budget here in the last three years, which to me indicates that we can obviously live here with reduced services. So this begs the question, is the only reason dissolution is being considered is because there’s no money for infrastructure renewal?

If council feels that the citizens won’t tolerate a tax hike of even pennies per hundred, coupled with folks here thinking that their taxes will magically disappear when we are taken under the big wing of our neighbouring counties, they’re all delusional indeed. Take the survey (www.surveymonkey.com/s/78KQRF3) and answer it truthfully and fill up those comment boxes to the best of your ability, and soon!

Peril is lurking and if we allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking our taxes are going to be lowered once you kiss off your ‘Heavenly Hantsport’ — and this is how we still feel about this best kept secret in the entire province  — you’re engaging in a game of political suicide by allowing us to dissolve. Once it’s gone, it’s never coming back.

When your candidate comes knocking (Bill Preston, Phil Zamora, or Jeff Starratt — in order of age), or if you have a chance to interact with him prior to the byelection on Oct. 18, ask him face-to-face: “Are you for this dissolution or against it?”

If he answers he’s for it but you want to preserve your governance and the $8-million of capital assets that you presently own and don’t feel comfortable just giving this all away, then walk away from this candidate.

This is our town and many brave people have fought for, and are still fighting for, its respected presence here and overseas in our country’s uniforms. Don’t let them down, and more importantly, don’t let yourself and your families down.

Vote for non-dissolution and keeping us a town, the way it has been for 119 years — strong and proud and going forward together!

 

Cliff Williams,

Hantsport

 

Organizations: Town of Hantsport

Geographic location: Hantsport, Town of Hantsport, West Hants Kings County

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Recent comments

  • R. Swicker
    August 28, 2014 - 11:28

    Please tone down the hyperbole in that second last paragraph Mr. Williams. Our military didn't fight for our right to maintain a dying, non-viable town. They fought for our nation's freedom and have allowed us to live in a free democratic society. And the residents of Hantsport exercised their democratic rights when they elected the current mayor and council and entrusted them to make these tough decisions.

    • Paul
      August 29, 2014 - 08:46

      Well said Cliff. And R., we trusted them to run our town we did not as you say "entrust them to make THESE tough decisions". Further, the real battle should be for our right to federal equalization transfers that our province is withholding. We are entitled to 26% to counter poor municipal taxation, the province gives us 7% by the grace of their heart. We are being robbed by our province of a fundamental charter right. How is that for hyperbole?