Allnovascotia.com is reporting that HRM Council will likely drop three Councillors when the next municipal election rolls around, cutting its …
Forget the symptoms, fight the diseaseBy Trevor J. Adams | Aug 4, 2010
HRM Council met last night and discussed the issue of its size. To no one’s surprise, Council decided it was fine just the way it was. This whole debate around the size of Council has been a tad surreal. Councillors (and Halifax’s usual everything-is-fine-the-way-it-is crowd) declared Council size a non-issue and blamed those usual suspects—the media and “business”—for even putting the subject on citizens’ minds. Then, they spent hours debating the idea.
In a way, I have to concede a point: Council size isn’t a non-issue, but it isn’t the issue. The main issue is the fact that this city just isn’t very well governed. When 43% of your citizens describe themselves as “dissatisfied” with the way a city is governed, something is wrong. The support for paring down Council shows that.
So, what’s the solution? Let the provincial government, which really sets the rules, know how you feel about the way Halifax is governed. Let your Mayor and Councillors know. Coucil’s newest idea for attempting to govern the city more effeciently is to give more teeth to community councils. Councillor Dawn Sloane describes in her blog. This could, in theory, lead to better governance—or it could lead to just another layer of municipal government. I like the idea, though; it nicely supports Halifax Magazine‘s position that breaking up HRM into two municipalities is the real solution. After all, if our city is so disunited that it requires seperate councils to govern it, doesn’t it really require separate governments?