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West Hants' green bin decision prompts councillor to request summertime meeting schedule change

West Hants Coun. Rupert Jannasch
West Hants Coun. Rupert Jannasch

WEST HANTS, N.S. — In light of West Hants council's recent ruling on green bin collection, one rural councillor is lobbying to see a change made to when summertime meetings are held.

On Sept. 12, council voted in favour of rolling out organic waste collection to all county residents when the new waste collection contract begins in April 2018.

Coun. Rupert Jannasch, who spoke passionately against a county-wide plan, readdressed the issue at the Sept. 26 committee of the whole meeting.

“It occurred to me during the recent discussion over green bins that the elected officials and the residents of West Hants were not well served by the process that was followed,” said Jannasch, noting that since the committee of the whole meeting was not held in August, councillors' ability to discuss the topic was severely limited prior to the Sept. 12 vote.

“An important decision was made that night, which I believe should have been proceeded with a presentation of more factual information on the topic and a freer discussion of options on how best to proceed,” said Jannasch.

He asked councillors to consider reinstating the end of August committee of the whole meeting. As a compromise, Jannasch proposed that the July committee of the whole meeting be cancelled instead.

“I think we can get over the idea of calendar month and deal with a four-week period,” he said.

This year marked the first time West Hants council has ever taken the month of August off from meetings. In hindsight, Jannasch said the public would be better served if council rearranged when meetings are held.

“Committee of the whole is designed to permit freer debate and facilitate discussion to allow the detailed examination of issues by using less strict rules at council meetings. As it turned out, a motion made at the start of the recent council meeting influenced the scope of the entire green bin debate,” said Jannasch.

“Council and the general public deserve to have the details surrounding new expenditures and how they will impact residents fully explained in a clear and comprehensive manner,” he added.

Hantsport already has organic waste collection while the rest of the county composts. When organic collection begins next year, it's estimated to cost $55 annually for each property owner.

Coun. Jennifer Daniels said while she felt more information could have been presented on the issue of green bins, she said council always has the option of calling a special meeting.

It's anticipated council will formally vote on the motion to switch which meetings are cancelled during the summertime at their Oct. 10 council meeting.

 

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