This dispute between the two councils and the WFD has raged on for over five years, gone to mediation and is still not settled. Obviously, there are two sides to the story but no one wants to compromise and work towards a solution that benefits everyone concerned.
Everyone knows there are personality conflicts and conflicts of interests between members of West Hants council and the WFD. Yes, there are allegations of insufficient information about charges by the WFD to the municipality. What the dark secret is, is certainly mystifying.
The deputy warden of the West Hants council has blatantly stated he was not willing to negotiate with the WFD as long as the present fire chief remains.
Another councilor has stated he is not willing to negotiate because the WFD’s chief is a paid employee. Unless my facts are wrong, the chief of the Brooklyn Fire Department is a salaried position as well.
On top of all this conflict, the warden of West Hants has failed to provide any leadership that he promised at a number of public meetings, and it seems at every opportunity to vote on a resolution of this issue, there is a block of old boys who vote against moving forward to a resolution that serves the best interests of everyone in the town and municipality. How childish can our politicians get?
One has to wonder whether some of these people have been there too long, have their own personal agendas and have lost their way about why they are there. While some have done some good work along the way, maybe it’s time to go!
They are also ignoring what’s happening all over the province where small communities such as ours are struggling to survive. Services such as fire protection, policing and other key services need to be shared not split apart.
We have had a number of meetings around the town and municipality where hundreds of people have attended and voiced there opinion loud and clear that we don’t need two separate firefighting independent units and that the majority of residents in both the town and county are very satisfied with the service provided by the WFD.
Why West Hants is preoccupied about ownership of Fire trucks, equipment and boots is a mystery. They are buying a service just like police protection, garbage disposal and public transportation. They don’t have to own the fire trucks, police cars, garbage trucks and buses. We residents and taxpayers don’t really care about who owns the stuff, we just want to be assured we have the service.
Now the decision about the WFD terminating fire protection service to the county is less that two months and it has a lot of people and businesses worked up and many of us are questioning the sanity of our politicians who continue to be at loggerheads with this issue.
If cooler heads can’t prevail and the people elected to represent the best interests of its constituents can’t work this out collectively, then we need intervention by the province or the issue should go to a plebiscite.
For god’s sakes, can’t we get this issue resolved?