Sackville Town Councillor Bill Evans joined us in the studio to give his take on the previous night’s Regular Council Meeting. The highlights?

The Tantramar Planning Commission’s Lori Bickford gave a presentation about the public consultation she conducted to gather citizen input for the 2015-2020 Municipal Plan. Evans says that the response to the request for public input has been “underwhelming,” especially in light of the number of comments and complaints he’s received from citizens about issues covered by the municipal plan. Why aren’t people using the official channels to address zoning and planning issues?

Town Councillor Shawn Mesheau made a motion resolving that the town would consider non-commercial uses for the former fire hall on Main Street. Council was split on the motion, with the deciding vote coming from Mayor Bob Berry. Evans said he was initially in favour of the motion, because he considered its wording to be toothless. When town staff responded that the motion would in fact require them to entertain non-purchase proposals for use of the building, Evans voted against the motion. He says, “We have lots of empty space in town. We’re talking about spending millions of dollars to build another space?”

Council also heard a motion to increase the size of the Sackville Heritage Board from five to seven members. Evans made a counter-motion suggesting that the matter be referred to the Policy and Bylaw committee. He says now is not the right time to add board members, given the complicated nature of the case of the former United Church. He suggested that, in order to resolve the deadlock on the outstanding demolition request for the church, some cloudy, toothless language needs to be improved in Heritage Bylaw. evans countermotion passes unanimously. A subsequent motion was introduced to re-appoint Vanessa Bass, former Heritage Board member. Evans says “In her case, it’s obviously no problem; she’s a member of long-standing who has lots of experience with this issue.” Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion.

We also talked about class and social divisions in Sackville, focusing on the question, “What brings people together?”

Listen to the full interview here.

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