Mayor Bill Mills makes a point as a sell-out crowd of business operators take turns asking questions at the Mayors’ Breakfast on April 16th, sponsored by CIBC-Wood Gundy and Bell Aliant.  Questions focused on everything from the dollars and cents of amalgamating the three jurisdictions to how local residents welcome immigrants.  The event was organized by the Chamber. In the photo are Mayors Mills, Wendy Robinson of Stewiacke and Bob Taylor of Colchester. (L-R)   Full Story is below.


TRURO – The Mayors of Colchester, Truro and Stewiacke gave their opinions and explanations on everything from the demise of Nova Scotia’s RDAs (Regional Development Agencies) to amalgamating their three councils into one as they sat down in front of a Chamber of Commerce audience today.

Questions from the audience dealt with the RECC Centre, taxes, economic development, immigration and a host of other topics in front of a sold-out crowd at the Best Western Glengarry.

On the topic of boosting immigration from immigrants who create jobs for this part of the province, Stewiacke Mayor Wendy Robinson summed it up.

“We’re friendly to people in the bank – we say hi and ask folks how they’re doing,” she says.  “But how often do we invite immigrant families over for Christmas Dinner?”

Colchester Mayor Bob Taylor surprised many in the audience when he said he’d be willing to look at some of the aspects of regional amalgamation.  But he said services would be the place where savings could be made, and not necessarily by reducing the number of municipal councillors at the table.

Truro’s Bill Mills said if Truro were to amalgamate with Bible Hill, the tax base would increase by 50 per cent, but service costs would go up by 100 per cent.  Mills did not quote any similar studies about what might happen if Truro were to merge with Colchester County.  Stewiacke Mayor Wendy Robinson told Chamber members her council would likely be mandated to decrease from six town councillors down to just four later this year, adding she sees more local control over issues by staying away from amalgamation for now.

As for the salaries of those who run for election, Robinson said it’s generally less than 4 per cent of total spending in the Town of Stewiacke.  In a separate question, all three indicated they might be willing to run for re-election.

Other topics covered by the three mayors included the state of roads, the proposed new Hilden overpass that would divert traffic into the Truro Business Park, and the hiring of separate economic development officers for each jurisdiction.  Millbrook’s Economic Development officer Terry French spoke briefly on behalf of Millbrook Chief Bob Gloade, who was absent due to a family emergency.

Mr. French urged those in attendance to look at the video on Millbrook’s website showing the reserve’s economic progress.

The Chamber would like to thank the mayors, its board of volunteers and sponsors CIBC, CIBC-Wood Gundy and Bell Aliant for helping to make the Mayors’ Breakfast happen.