Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Brief Response to Mayor Bailey's Comment


At last night's Mayoral Forum in Lunenburg.   The candidates were asked the following question:  The issue of Home Based Business must have been very difficult for all parties.  If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently?

I don't understand how this question bypassed the rules of the forum.  The rules stated that questions needed to be applicable to all candidates.  But, it was asked and since I was not given a platform to respond I will briefly respond here.

Mayor Bailey stated that the town offered to assist me with the legal process available and I refused.  Yes, this is correct.  There is a provincial appeal process available to anyone that is not happy with the decision of a building inspector.  The Committee that oversees this process is called the Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee (NSBAC).  There were a number of reasons that I chose to not go this route, but this is the main one.  It was explained to me by the chair of the NSBAC that an appeal never sets a precedent.  If I had appealed my case it would have only solved my case .  I understood, with the help of Jim Donovan, the manager of Municipal compliance for HRM, that there was an interpretive error happening in much of rural Nova Scotia.  It was not a building code problem.  It was a communication problem.  The problem was affecting many businesses.  Not just my own.  We had already lost several businesses in Lunenburg because of this interpretive error.

So, instead of making the case for only myself, I made the case to the province that an error was happening.  They heard me and they fixed it.

As for the rest of Mayor Bailey's response, well, I'd rather not address that.  Anyone who was there could feel the division her answer created.  Instead, I would like to thank Councillor Mosher for his response, when asked the same question the week before in the councillor candidates' forum. His response was wise and kind and displayed great leadership.

What he said was... I know Anna is in the room, and I really take my hat off to her. She championed a cause. As a council, we really don't have the resources to deal with one single issue like this. We are dealing with many things at the same time. The one thing I would have done differently is to bring her on board. To have included her in the conversation. He went on to say that it was a provincial issue, but in the end the best possible outcome was achieved. He held out an olive branch and I accepted it. I can explain why it was not a provincial issue, why it was easily solvable, and I have done so many times, but you know what?   It really doesn't matter. The best possible outcome was achieved and the simple fact that he said, good job and I wish we had included you, was huge. That's what a good leader does. They bridge divides. Not widen them.

2 comments:

  1. I applaud Councillor Mosher's reply to the question at hand. He has recognized and validated a champion who persisted with a mission to right a wrong that was affecting many small businesses in rural Nova Scotia. The Province 'listened' to one citizen, 'understood' the information presented and 'validated' the significance of the material. They agreed, there was an interpretive error with a building code and they fixed it. And as Councillor mosher said, "in the end the best possible outcome was achieved". The interpretive error was corrected by the Province and all small businesses have benefited. Lunenburg is fortunate to have this 'Champion' among our citizenship.

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  2. Indeed it is great to have a champion like Anna. That, however, does not change the fact that this was a simple issue within the authority of the town to fix. Instead of getting defensive about and upstart CFA the town, if it had real leadership, would have engaged Anna and would have really listened to her. As Counsellor Mosher said, Anna should have been brought in from the beginning. It's great to have champions but some things are just simple common sense and shoyldn't need a champion to spend three years of hard work. It is time for a change in Lunenburg, a big change. Here's hoping.

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