KENTVILLE, NS - For a lobby group, the Kings Citizens Coalition hasn’t been very visible lately.
The Kings Citizens Coalition (KCC) had been a strong voice in advocating for a regional governance study for Kings County prior to the 2016 municipal election. KCC spokesman John Calpin said the group hasn’t been very active lately but it continues to support exploring regional governance.
Calpin said the KCC was pleased and encouraged by a recent social media statement made by Kings County Mayor Peter Muttart where he spoke in favour of studying municipal unification together with neighbours and governance experts. The ultimate goal would be to make a rational decision as to whether the present municipal governance model could be improved.
“That’s really what it’s all about, if those guys can get talking, we hope that it will lead to some pretty concrete actions to coordinate and share common costs,” Calpin said.
The KCC’s efforts in lobbying for a regional governance study are about exploring whether a combined approach to municipal government could provide a better deal for taxpayers within Kings, he said.
The catalyst for the KCC’s lobbying efforts was a realization that, considering its size, Kings is over-governed at the municipal level. There are 11 separate municipal entities within the geography of Kings: the county, three towns and seven villages. The county and each town has its own council and each village has its own commissioners. Each entity also has its own staff.
“It just made no sense from many points of view but primarily, the silo thinking that developed in terms of economic development, it was just hopeless, really, when you get four communities competing amongst one another,” Calpin said.
There seems to be a better atmosphere of cooperation among Kings County municipalities as of late, he said, which is a positive development.