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 strive 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.