O’Leary seeking feedback on becoming a town

Eric McCarthy
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Meeting Monday at 7 p.m.

O’LEARY -- Times are changing and the Community of O’Leary is endeavouring to change with them suggests community chairman, Stanley MacDonald..

The community council has scheduled a information session for Monday at 7 p.m. to discuss its interest in applying for town status and to gain feedback from residents and businesspeople concerning the proposal. The meeting will be held at the O’Leary Community Complex.

MacDonald said council started discussing town status a few months ago and sent out a letter to residents and business people explaining the advantages of becoming a town. One key advantage, he said, is it speeds up the decision-making process.

“Looking to the future,” he said, “our processes are too slow if you want to do something.” Communities, he explained, can call special meetings, but, unlike towns, must limit the discussion to that one specific topic.

O’Leary’s profile would be raised with town status, he added, and it might be able to qualify for certain grants that would not be available to municipalities with community status. He noted O’Leary already has more services than some of the Island’s existing towns.

He said there would be no change in how services like street maintenance and snow-clearing are handled.

Although he does not anticipate a binding vote during Monday’s information meeting, he suggested there would likely be a show of hands to give council an indication of level of support for the proposal. “Municipal Affairs would want you to have support,” he said.

As is the case with the community meetings, MacDonald said that meetings as a town council would remain open to the public to attend. “It’s still transparent,” he stressed.

Organizations: O’Leary Community Complex

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  • Andrew
    January 04, 2014 - 21:18

    If it is a benefit to everyone in O'Leary and moving the area in a right direction with better access to grants and funding without a raise in municipal taxes than go for it! We already know the election process remains the same with the Chairperson (likely to be renamed the Mayor) and 6 members of council. Only change may be a full day election vote opposed to a 6pm meeting that nobody attends. We already have an administrator and better Recreation Deparment than Tignish and definitely a better dept (or lack of dept) than Alberton. Same services and no changes in taxes. If it isn't costing me anything additional, make the flip.