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Kincardine needs a council that works together
By Liz Dadson
 

Editorial

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With less than 10 months to a municipal election, it's time to call for candidates who want to work together in the best interests of the entire Municipality of Kincardine.

We have suffered through a decade of turf wars - councils that were torn apart by old battles, struggling under excess baggage, and worn out by the mistrust and anger between urban and rural that just refuses to die.

While Kincardine has a mayor, deputy mayor and three councillors elected to represent the entire municipality, there continues to be four elected from the former wards - two for Ward 1 (Kincardine), and one for each of Wards 2 and 3 (Kincardine Township and Bruce Township). And that's what continues to tear things apart.

The councillor from Ward 3 insists he is representing the fine people of Tiverton and Bruce Township - and apparently, that's all he wants to represent. This is where protectionism comes into play. Whenever the fine, upstanding representative of Ward 3 believes something is being done to malign his precious territory, he plays his hand in such a way as to bring the wrath of his constituents down on council.

All that does it continue the mistrust that has existed between Kincardine and its rural neighbours for hundreds of years.

Not only do we need municipal candidates who want to work together, we need the electorate of the Municipality of Kincardine to have the intestinal fortitude to actually elect these candidates. We have wasted enough time upholding the fine tradition of Ward 1 versus the rest. Now, we need to emulate other municipalities, such as Huron-Kinloss and Saugeen Shores, whose councils discuss the issues, make a decision, and then support that decision and each other.

It's also time to change the committee system Kincardine has in place which has council members micro-managing everything from roads to tourism, rather than placing their trust in the staff they have hired to do their jobs and bring reliable information back to the council table. Other councils hash out the details at a general committee meeting, with all of council present, and then bring the issue back to council for formal approval.

Their system seems to work. We should do likewise.


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Sunday, January 03, 2010