Co-ordinating Committee Meeting Notification
The next meeting of the Co-ordinating Committee will take place on February 25th at 6:00pm in the Sanford Council Chambers.
We Want Your Input!
In order to determine the appropriate size of Council and the electoral boundaries of the new Regional Municipality we have engaged Stantec Consulting Limited to perform a Governance Review. The Co-ordinating Committee will consider Stantec’s review in determining the size of the Regional Council and related electoral district boundaries – and thereafter in applying to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for approval of the governance structure in advance of the first election for the new Regional Municipality on March 7, 2020.
As part of this process, we are asking that residents take part in an online survey that will help us to gather opinions on council size for the new Regional Municipality. The link to the survey can be found below and paper copies are available for those unable to do the survey on-line at both the Town Office at 100 King Street, Windsor or the Municipal Office at 76 Morison Drive, Windsor.
Five public meetings have been scheduled to present information to residents on council size and will provide an opportunity to hear resident’s opinions. Each meeting will begin with an open house from 6:00 to 7:00 pm followed by a presentation at 7:00 pm. The meetings will be held as follow:
- Tuesday, January 29 - Avondale Community Hall, 50 Avondale Cross Rd, Avondale
- Wednesday, January 30 - Brooklyn Civic Center, 995 Hwy 215, Brooklyn
- Thursday, January 31 - South West Hants Fire Hall located at 1884 Hwy 14, Vaughan
- Tuesday, February 5 - Windsor Community Center, 78 Thomas Street, Windsor
- Wednesday, February 6 (snow date for the 1st 4 meetings) - West Hants Municipal Office, 76 Morison Drive, Windsor
- Thursday, February 7 - Falmouth Community Hall, 147 Falmouth Back Rd, Falmouth
- Wednesday, February 13 (snow date for February 7) - West Hants Municipal Office, 76 Morison Drive, Windsor
Stantec will present its recommendations on potential council size to the Co-ordinating Committee in February. These recommendations will be based on survey responses, input from the public meetings and consultation with current Council and staff. The Co-ordinating Committee will determine a potential council size or sizes to be used in the boundary determination phase.
A second set of meetings will be held in March in order to gather information regarding electoral boundaries. Information regarding the electoral boundary portion of the process will be announced in February.
Transition Coordinator Appointed for Consolidation
Kevin Latimer has been appointed as the Transition Coordinator and will work with the Transition Team to move us through the consolidation process.
Mr. Latimer is a lawyer with Cox and Palmer in Halifax and has extensive experience in advising municipalities on governance, statutory authority, land use, infrastructure, development, municipal planning and regulatory issues. Mr. Latimer's bio can be found here.
“We are thrilled to have Kevin as our transition co-ordinator,” said Abraham Zebian, warden for the Municipality of District of West Hants. “His knowledge, experience in the municipal world, and enthusiasm for the task will lead us forward in a very successful transition to create the fourth regional municipality in Nova Scotia.
“We are pleased with the choice and the town looks forward to working towards a brighter future for all of our communities in a new regional municipality,” said Anna Allen, mayor of Windsor.
Working Together for a Strong Region
Municipalities across Nova Scotia are exploring new, more innovative ways of working together to face the numerous challenges before us. The Town of Windsor and the Municipality of the District of West Hants made a decision to ensure the future strength and viability of our communities.
Through collaboration and the creation of a new, unified regional government, we will be able to leverage our collective resources and respond to opportunities in our resident’s best interest. Together, we will be stronger. With the consolidation, our citizens will benefit from more effective decision-making in many areas including land use, infrastructure and economic development.
We have the opportunity now to create the future we want for our communities – the future our citizens deserve.
In July 2018, we passed motions agreeing to enter into negotiations to voluntarily consolidate the two municipalities. In fall 2018, the Province of Nova Scotia passed legislation which will help us achieve this goal. We are now working to complete the consolidation process by April 2020.
We recognize that it is crucial that citizens are involved in shaping the future of the new municipality and in the consolidation process. We remain committed to keeping our citizens informed from the start of this process and will continue to provide opportunities for people to participate throughout. We will be posting updates and any information on upcoming public meetings on this website.
We know change can sometimes be hard and can bring challenges but change also brings opportunities. We want the best for our citizens, communities and our region. Together, we will seize the future opportunities that consolidation offers us. As a united regional government, we will be a stronger region.
Guiding Principles for Transition Committee
The following guiding principles were developed at a joint council workshop between the Town of Windsor and the Municipality on October 29th, 2018.
The intent of these Guiding Principles is to provide our Windsor/West Hants Transition Committee with broad values to consider when making decisions concerning the consolidation of the two communities.
1. Boundaries: When looking at boundaries, ensure equitable representation for both urban and rural communities for the new council. It is essential that the culture and identities of both the urban and rural communities are retained in the new consolidated community.
2. Taxation: When developing a taxation model for the consolidated community, the existing tax system should serve as a base. Business as usual, services as usual. The electoral boundaries should not impact taxation.
3. Debt: When addressing debt from the former communities, area rates should be used to ensure the repayment of the debt is paid in the spirit it was incurred. By way of example, if the debt was incurred for the benefit of the taxpayers in Windsor, the debt should be area rated to the tax payers of Windsor.
4. Administrative Structure: When developing the blended administrative structure of the consolidated community, all efforts should be taken to ensure there is no job loss as a result of the consolidation. Any planned efficiencies should stride to be achieved through attrition and maintaining corporate knowledge should be prioritized.
5. Regional Service Strategy: An overall strategy for regional service delivery and regional infrastructure prioritization should be informed by an inventory of existing assets.
6. Regional Planning: Regional planning should be a priority for the consolidated community to ensure that the strengths of the urban and rural communities are being leveraged appropriately.
7. Public Engagement: A Public Engagement Plan should focus on transparency and provide diverse ways to inform and engage the public and stakeholders.
8. Decisions: All pertinent decisions should be reviewed with the lens of looking for economic development growth and opportunities.
Special Legislation Introduced to Consolidate West Hants and Windsor
First Reading of the Special Legislation to create a new regional municipality by consolidating the Municipality of West Hants and the Town of Windsor was introduced to the house on Monday, September 24th. The Legislation will begin the process of having the two municipal units amalgamated by April 1, 2020 and consists of transitional matters including the appointment of a transition coordinator and the creation of a transition committee who will oversee the process.
The Region of Windsor and West Hants Municipality Act can be read here.