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Countdown To Voting

Countdown To Voting

Voting starts tomorrow! I know the method is very different from the past but under the present state of emergency due to Covid-19,  we had to change the process so no one would be at risk.  At this time I wish all the candidates running for municipal elections the best of luck.  I really appreciate that so many people have put their names forth for councillor. It shows that people really care about their communities.

Look for my business card in your mailbox! Please call if you need help with municipal issues, voting or a ride to the kiosk.  We have wonderful people in our community and I have missed door knocking but have had the opportunity to speak to many folks. 902 746 3384

As a councillor, you have to think about your local district, municipality and region. We cannot be focused entirely on our district.  We represent all of the people in our municipality and region and have to make decisions based on the needs of the people.  What might be important to one specific area many not be as important in someone else’s but we have to take care of everyone.  We have to have a strong municipality and our town has to be strong as well.  That’s why collaboration is so important.

Our council has been very busy and I wish to highlight a couple of organizations which need to be thanked.

I am very pleased with the gains we have made in rural internet.  It was our #1 priority and by the end of 2022 we should have 95% of people receiving high speed internet. Thank you to the Western Regional Economic Network who have who have driven this project.  Those people living in small pockets without service need to make sure they have your civic address so you can get added to the list.  This service will help us in so many ways: healthy and safety, children connecting to school and being able to gather information and economic development.  All of these connections will encourage continued growth in the Municipality, an increase in the tax base which will contribute to improved assets and services.  Who wouldn’t want to live in Yarmouth County!!

Second, our Municipality, Argyle, Yarmouth, Barrington, Chamber of Commerce, Doctors NS, the Province, The Hospital Foundation and private donations have contributed to running the Community Navigator Program.  Big thanks to the Chamber for organizing and supervising the program and Rebecca Rose for making a difference in the recruitment and retention of doctors.  We have only just begun and I would dearly love to continue with this committee.  I keep hearing about people getting a new doctor and they are thrilled.  This is one of the most important initiatives that has made a difference to the lives of our residents.

I have highlighted a few of my accomplishments on my brochure but here is the bigger list:

• Initiated signage for Port Maitland Beach and local business on the 101 Highway

• Brought transparency to MODY by requesting meetings be shown on FB live, asked for CAO report, which included motions and follow up up actions and  strategic plans

• $10,000 to Lakes and District Fire Hall for new addition

• Coordinated a multi level government project to get Sandford Drawbridge repaired

 ( Still needs painting which has been held up due to Covid)

  • Supported improvements to the the Port Maitland Wharf by communication with Bernadette Jordan, Minister  Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  Request to make urgent repairs to the wharf and build new automatic tide gate system with success.

• Worked with MODY staff and all levels of government to insure investigation of PM beach pollution issues.

• Chair Municipal Doctor Recruitment Committee, supported MODY fund the Community Navigator position which has assisted in bringing 13  new docs to Yarmouth area

• Worked with DNR  on a joint provincial and municipal project to make PM Beach Accessible and encourage improvements to the park ( in progress)

• Elected NSFM Rural Representative Board member

• Got Bunkers Island tanks removed

• Got Bug Light Painted

• Brought The Lighthouse Movie to Yarmouth, 5 Million  for Yarmouth County.

• Requested extension of PM sidewalk engineering has been approved.

• Consulted with Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal for  improvements to Lake George Rd, Main Shore Rd, Sandford Rd, Darlings Lake Rd, Ross Durkee Rd into the wharf, Armour stone in Sandford,Rodney Rd, McCormick Rd and more.  Thanks to Don Houston, Greg Newell and Deputy Minister Paul LaFleche for everything you do.  Hope some of these requests will be completed.

In the works:

  • Requested community drilled well 
  • Support the consolidation TALKS
  • Support the Mariner’s Centre Expansion
  • Support the reopening of the Centennial Pool
  • Support the construction of Splash Park 

Council is requires attendance at more than 2 meetings a month.  Here is a list of my Committees:

Bylaw and Policy Committee, Chair

Western Regional Economic Network Liaison and Oversight Committee, Vice Chair

Doctor Recruitment and Retention Committee, Chair

Yarmouth Area Industrial Commission

Heritage Committee

Planning Advisory Committee

Western Regional Library Board

Community Navigator Oversight Committee

CAO Committee

Marketing Promotion and Levy Advisory Committee

Yarmouth Waterfront Development Committee

Mayors Task Force

Community Navigator Oversight Committee

Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities Board Rural Representative

District 4 Constituents, I ask for your support in the election which starts tomorrow until October 17th.  I would like to finish projects and start new ones that will benefit our residents.  Council has a lot of work to do to maintain what we have and grow our community. I believe I have the experience needed to help achieve our goals. Let’s not miss out on any opportunities! Together We Are Better!

Thanks for voting for Patti Durkee for an open-minded, positive, enthusiastic, experienced, proactive, community leader 

Consolidation, Yes or No?

Consolidation, Yes or No?

Should we entertain talks about consolidation… Yes! Does it mean we have to do it??? NO!!!

First, people need to know the difference between consolidation and amalgamation. With the consolidation, the municipal units have complete control over how it would work. The units set the guiding principles, they decide what it would look like. Check out the model Windsor/ West Hants used to create one unit.

https://www.strongerregion.ca/why-consolidation.html

Amalgamation occurs when a unit can no longer carry on due to debt loads and being unable to collect enough taxes to pay their bills and meet the needs of their residents. The province steps in and forces communities to amalgamate. WE DO NOT WANT THIS TO HAPPEN HERE!

Fortunately, all three municipal units in the area are in great shape financially. Check out their audited statements. Don’t believe in rumours, look at the information shared on the websites.

Why do we need to consider what this might look like? We have issues with our governance model on regional assets. We meet as three units, everyone agrees on something but final decisions cannot be made at that time. We go back to our council tables and everything agreed upon goes out the window and we end up no where. We have a lot of shared services which is wonderful but when contracts have to be renewed, there will be conflict as to who pays what. There is no trust among the units and the discussion becomes negative and nothing gets done. This has to change for the prosperity of the region.

Everyone is fearful that taxes will go up and that just isn’t the case when you create your our guiding principles. Here is WWH principle

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”

How about… we do not want to take on another units 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.

I have heard that people are afraid of losing their community’s identity. There is no reason for that to occur. Finally, what would districts look like:

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.

Have things gone wrong in some of the regions when they amalgamated, yes they have but lessons have been learned and we have a chance to see if consolidation would work for us. I know people are fearful of change.

What we have now, isn’t working. What harm could it do to sit down and see what it could look like? Design a model, bring it to the public and get feedback. Look at the positives and negatives. It is all about compromise. If there is no advantage to our residents then councillors would never agree.

Keep an open mind, that’s my philosophy!

Voting starts on the October 8th. If you haven’t received your voters card, please let us know!

Thanks for your support, Vote Patti Durkee for enthusiastic, positive, engagement. Experience helps!

Future Planning and Voting Info

Future Planning and Voting Info

Thankfully Rural Internet projects have begun!  Please let us know if you have poor service. As Develop NS says we aren’t finished yet!  John Cunningham and I continually bring up the poor cell service in Yarmouth County. It still needs to be address with CRT.

This summer we had another drought! Thanks so much to the Town of Yarmouth for building the new Water Distribution Centre for the residents of Yarmouth County.  Is that enough?  In my opinion we need our own community well in the Municipality.  I brought this up at a council meeting, some councillors did not support my recommendation however I made a motion to task the staff with getting costs which was supported.  No word back yet.  Since last night was our last meeting it look like the new council will be tasked with following up.

Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal are responsible for roads and street signs in the county. The Council has been asking for signs to be replaced for a long time.  Unfortunately, it still hasn’t happened.  We can only ask, it is up them to follow up.  Very excited to see the Darling Lake/ Short Beach Rd and the Main Shore Rd to the Beach paved.  I hope we have good sized shoulders for walking!  Part of the Lake George Rd towards the gravel needs paving as does more of the Sandford Rd.  Have been asking for increased shoulders on the latter, which will only happen when it is repaved.  

Thanks to TIR for the  work done on Lake George Road, what a huge difference! Would like to see the same work done on some of the other gravel roads in the Municipality! Rodney badly needs improving.

Speaking of signs, we formed a sign committee to look at beautification signs but it didn’t move forward due to more pressing projects.  Would like to see our villages have more of an identity and advertise unique features and business.  There is a beautification grant available from the province which I will encourage staff to apply for if re-elected.  How about some little flags or hanging flower pots on the poles to identify the location?

Voting starts on October 8th via phone, internet or kiosk. Please call 902-742-7150. You should have received your voters card by now. The kiosk will be at the Port Maitland Fire Hall on October 9th, 2- 7 pm. Please call if you need a ride. Please do not give your PIN number to anyone especially candidates, it is against the law. Most important is to exercise your right to vote! Every vote counts!

RE-ELECT PATTI DURKEE FOR DISTRICT 4

Sincerely,

Patti

Authorized by the official agent of Patti Durkee

Improving Our Wharves

Improving Our Wharves

A few years back, it appeared that our local wharves were destined for closure. Fishing is the backbone of our community, we need our wharves.  District 4 has 2 locations which house many of the fishers in the community. Fishing boats have increased in size and the commercial fisheries is also increasing. There is no room anywhere else for our fishers so we have to keep our local harbours open and in good condition.

Thankfully our municipality does not pay for these wharves but we can help, like highways we have no jurisdiction on what DFO does with our wharves.  What we can do is work with the local communities to advocate for improvements.  During the past 3 years, a group of local individuals got together and decided that major improvements could be made at the Port Maitland Wharf. With some work, our wharf could hold many more fishing boats and accept a variety of visiting watercraft in the summer.  After consulting with an engineer and local fishers, they came up with a design to actually expand the harbour.  While it is a long term plan, there were some short term goals that needed attention.  A community meeting was held at the Fire Hall in Port Maitland and low and behold, DFO agreed to the immediate needs of the wharf. A significant improvement is an automated tide gate. This is phase one and there is much more to do. Many thanks to Derek Thomas and Marc Brophy for putting together the proposal.  I have supported these gentlemen by communicating with DFO and would like the opportunity to continue the work that has been started.

“Patti responded to the needs of the Port Maitland fishing community by communicating with DFO and the Minister of Fisheries for improvements to the wharf. We worked collaboratively to successfully convince DFO to approve urgent repairs and an automatic tide gate.”

Derek Thomas

In Sandford, I worked with 3 levels of government to obtain funds for repairing the Drawbridge, an icon in the community.  A group of community members are willing to volunteer to paint the bridge but unfortunately that has been put on hold due to Covid.  The Harbour Authority is willing to supply the paint.  Hopefully we can get it done next spring or summer.

If we all work together, we can get things done that will improve the district, municipality and region. Let’s open those doors to opportunities we might otherwise miss. 

I was taught many years ago that if you don’’t ask, you don’t get so I am asking for your support in the upcoming election October 8-17th. 

Thank you,

Patti

Photo courtesy of Marven Blenus, Port Maitland