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UPDATE: Windsor council severs ties with West Hants

<p>Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley looks over at West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee as co-operation talks heat up at a joint council meeting March 27.</p>
<p>Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley looks over at West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee as co-operation talks heat up at a joint council meeting March 27.</p>

WINDSOR – The war of words between Windsor and West Hants councils have reached a boiling point.

On July 28, Windsor council passed a motion that will effectively end future joint council sessions between the town and Municipality of West Hants.

The two units will still communicate through the chief administrative officers of each organization, through formal letters and by other means, but an open political discussion has effectively been closed.

Coun. Dave Seeley, who voted in favour of the motion, said there’s no point for Windsor to continue with the joint council because West Hants refuses to co-operate.

“After dealing with West Hants for seven years on many different issues… it’s been extremely difficult, dealing with one disappointment after the other,” Seeley said.

Seeley added that a number of recent statements from West Hants councillors regarding the amalgamation issue was the last straw for the Town of Windsor.

“The municipality is not in support of amalgamation, annexation or regionalization, and they wanted a copy of that copied to Minister Mark Furey… and MLA Chuck Porter and that motion was carried,” he said, flipping through papers and documents highlighting the back and forth.

“That was clear that they shut the door totally for any further discussion.”

Seeley said there is a lot of frustration stemming from Windsor subsidizing West Hants residents who use the town’s facilities and resources, with no compensation from the municipality.

“Whenever we have a joint council meeting, everything that’s been said is always twisted and turned against Windsor. There have been motions passed that have then been changed," he said.

“There comes a time when enough is enough."

Seeley said he couldn’t see Windsor's decision regarding participating in joint council meetings being reconsidered until after the next election, referring to the motion as a "root canal."

“Hopefully, there will be more forward-thinking people on (the next) West Hants council that are willing to work towards a better future for all of us,” he said.

Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley said the motion, which was passed 3–2 in its current form, is an indication of Windsor council’s frustration.

“It is my hope that citizens take this as an urgent call to action, just as the Ivany report has said, people need to get engaged in their local government,” he said. “Those that wish to have one unified region, one municipality, it’s time for them to step up.”

Coun. Laurie Murley and Deputy Mayor John Bregante voted against the motion, saying they were in favour of a slightly different letter to be sent to West Hants, explaining the rationale behind the decision.

Scott Geddes, Seeley, and Beazley passed the motion as it was, although Geddes did say he wanted strong language used in the letter.

“I have no interest spending my time with West Hants council in any way, shape, or form,” Geddes said, adding that joint council has been a “colossal waste of time.”

Beazley said ongoing agreements between the town and municipality should continue, including the proposed Birthplace of Hockey Arena.

Windsor council also passed a motion agreeing to invite the Glooscap First Nation to council meetings four times a year.

The last joint council session on June 28 was the final meeting attended by Hantsport, and because of Windsor's decision, it will be the final one for all three units.

 

West Hants reacts

West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee said the news of Windsor's decision caught their council by “surprise.”

Dauphinee said West Hants council hasn’t officially received the notice of the motion and can’t comment yet on what council’s reaction could be.

“To work things out you have to work together,” Dauphinee said. “Joint council meetings, especially when Hantsport was separate, if somebody or a business wanted to do a presentation, you didn’t have to do it three times.”

Martin Laycock, the acting CAO for West Hants while Cathie Osborne is on vacation, issued a press release July 31 to further clarify the municipality's stance.

“Windsor council’s motion to withdraw from joint council is a disappointing turn of events for both West Hants and Windsor residents,” said the statement read.

“Joint council served as a useful forum for the town and the municipality to discuss shared issues while allowing community groups, citizens, and businesses to make presentations to both councils at once, rather than having to attend two or three individual council meetings to make the same presentation,” the statement continued.

“Moving forward, West Hants will continue its commitment to working with the Town of Windsor on our shared services and developing future opportunities for all residents.”

 

 

 

On July 28, Windsor council passed a motion that will effectively end future joint council sessions between the town and Municipality of West Hants.

The two units will still communicate through the chief administrative officers of each organization, through formal letters and by other means, but an open political discussion has effectively been closed.

Coun. Dave Seeley, who voted in favour of the motion, said there’s no point for Windsor to continue with the joint council because West Hants refuses to co-operate.

“After dealing with West Hants for seven years on many different issues… it’s been extremely difficult, dealing with one disappointment after the other,” Seeley said.

Seeley added that a number of recent statements from West Hants councillors regarding the amalgamation issue was the last straw for the Town of Windsor.

“The municipality is not in support of amalgamation, annexation or regionalization, and they wanted a copy of that copied to Minister Mark Furey… and MLA Chuck Porter and that motion was carried,” he said, flipping through papers and documents highlighting the back and forth.

“That was clear that they shut the door totally for any further discussion.”

Seeley said there is a lot of frustration stemming from Windsor subsidizing West Hants residents who use the town’s facilities and resources, with no compensation from the municipality.

“Whenever we have a joint council meeting, everything that’s been said is always twisted and turned against Windsor. There have been motions passed that have then been changed," he said.

“There comes a time when enough is enough."

Seeley said he couldn’t see Windsor's decision regarding participating in joint council meetings being reconsidered until after the next election, referring to the motion as a "root canal."

“Hopefully, there will be more forward-thinking people on (the next) West Hants council that are willing to work towards a better future for all of us,” he said.

Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley said the motion, which was passed 3–2 in its current form, is an indication of Windsor council’s frustration.

“It is my hope that citizens take this as an urgent call to action, just as the Ivany report has said, people need to get engaged in their local government,” he said. “Those that wish to have one unified region, one municipality, it’s time for them to step up.”

Coun. Laurie Murley and Deputy Mayor John Bregante voted against the motion, saying they were in favour of a slightly different letter to be sent to West Hants, explaining the rationale behind the decision.

Scott Geddes, Seeley, and Beazley passed the motion as it was, although Geddes did say he wanted strong language used in the letter.

“I have no interest spending my time with West Hants council in any way, shape, or form,” Geddes said, adding that joint council has been a “colossal waste of time.”

Beazley said ongoing agreements between the town and municipality should continue, including the proposed Birthplace of Hockey Arena.

Windsor council also passed a motion agreeing to invite the Glooscap First Nation to council meetings four times a year.

The last joint council session on June 28 was the final meeting attended by Hantsport, and because of Windsor's decision, it will be the final one for all three units.

 

West Hants reacts

West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee said the news of Windsor's decision caught their council by “surprise.”

Dauphinee said West Hants council hasn’t officially received the notice of the motion and can’t comment yet on what council’s reaction could be.

“To work things out you have to work together,” Dauphinee said. “Joint council meetings, especially when Hantsport was separate, if somebody or a business wanted to do a presentation, you didn’t have to do it three times.”

Martin Laycock, the acting CAO for West Hants while Cathie Osborne is on vacation, issued a press release July 31 to further clarify the municipality's stance.

“Windsor council’s motion to withdraw from joint council is a disappointing turn of events for both West Hants and Windsor residents,” said the statement read.

“Joint council served as a useful forum for the town and the municipality to discuss shared issues while allowing community groups, citizens, and businesses to make presentations to both councils at once, rather than having to attend two or three individual council meetings to make the same presentation,” the statement continued.

“Moving forward, West Hants will continue its commitment to working with the Town of Windsor on our shared services and developing future opportunities for all residents.”

 

 

 

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