Money talks. That certainly was the case during a residents meeting in Tignish this week.
Tignish Community Council called the meeting to present residents with estimates on what it might cost to keep sidewalks cleared of snow and to let residents decide whether they were prepared to finance the service.
Within minutes of the opening remarks it was clear the overwhelming majority in the crowd of over 70 residents was against keeping the sidewalks open.
That’s in stark contrast to the petition presented to council last spring, bearing the names of more than 100 residents who wanted council to look into providing the service.
It was not that residents were strongly opposed to having sidewalks kept clear. Council reported the service would trigger a municipal tax increase of 2.15 to six cents per $100 assessment, and, really, that is what they were not prepared to accept.
And that’s the reality of governance, whether it be at the federal, provincial or local level: everything costs money.
It’s why taxpayers get so upset with wasteful spending.
To be clear here, no one was suggesting sidewalk clearing in Tignish would be wasteful spending. In reality, it’s become a pretty basic service, one whose time has come in an age when more and more people are taking up walking and running as a means to staying fit.
The outcome of the vote is sure to trigger a closer scrutiny of all council spending in Tignish and, really, that should be happening at all levels of government, all the time.
IT"S HARVEST TIME
Things are finally looking up for potato growers. Wet weather has given way to sunshine and that is just what they need to get their crop out.
Of course, harvest time means lots of trucks, and likely a bit of mud, on rural roads. Motorists will need to exercise caution during this busy period. Farmers need to use care, too, especially when moving wide pieces of equipment along roads at nighttime and when visibility is diminished by the rising or setting sun.