Kincardine finally recovering
By Liz Dadson
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It looks as if the Municipality of Kincardine might finally be recovering from amalgamation.
After a decade of being the laughing-stock of Bruce County, with all the bumbling and fumbling, the infighting, the walking-on-eggs, the getting nothing done, Kincardine appears to be on the road to recovery.
And it's about time.
In 1999, the municipality was created from the former Town of Kincardine, Township of Kincardine and Township of Bruce.
It was a forced marriage and Bruce Township was adamantly opposed, fighting tooth and nail to keep what was its own - mainly the Bruce Nuclear Power Development (now Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation) and the Bruce Municipal Telephone System (now Bruce Telecom).
There was a strong history of angst between Bruce Township and Kincardine so it was no surprise that the amalgamation ran anything but smoothly.
While other newly-created municipalities were getting their affairs in order, Kincardine-Bruce-Tiverton continued to fight amongst itself. And the work suffered. There were bylaws and procedures to be brought together from the former town and townships, there were finances to figure out, snowplow routes to sort, and area-tax-rating to extinguish.
But few councillors would budge. They continued to micro-manage the new municipality to death, hammering at even the slightest tax increase, arguing over what was best for Ward 1 (former Town of Kincardine), Ward 2 (former Kincardine Township) and Ward 3 (former Bruce Township).
While councillors fought over facts and figures, little thought was given to the fact that most of the senior staff was from the former Town of Kincardine with its own peculiar way of doing things.
A few years back, the Municipality of Kincardine hired a new clerk and some progress has been made in the way the procedural bylaw is adhered to during council meetings.
Gradually, councillors from the former municipalities either chose not to run or were not re-elected. With the 2010 municipal election came great change, bringing five new faces to the council table.
Now, with the hiring of an interim treasurer and a new chief administrative officer (CAO), things are really starting to look promising for Kincardine.
Already, there is a sigh of relief from council and the press table as the municipality embarks on a far simpler budget process.
With an experienced CAO at the helm, it looks like smooth sailing and calm waters for the Municipality of Kincardine, the community and the ratepayers.
It's about time we took this troubled, messed-up municipality and turned it into one with a solid council, solid staff and a solid future.
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Monday, February 20, 2012