Kings Citizens Coalition presents petition to Kentville council

Vanessa MacNeil
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KENTVILLE - The Kings Citizens Coalition (KCC) wants Kentville’s town council to get on board with a regional governance study.

David Ritcey, co-chairman of the coalition, presented a petition with more than 600 signatures at a council meeting Feb. 29, calling on the council to undertake the independent governance study. 

“Attempts to discredit and marginalize those citizens demanding good governance and change grows tiresome,” says the accompanying letter from the KCC.

Ritcey reminded councillors of their willingness to engage in such a study two and a half years ago, and offered up his speaking time as he invited council to state whether they are still in favour of such a study, and why or why not.

“I run these meetings, and I make the rules,” said Mayor Dave Corkum, who had some questions of his own that Ritcey declined to answer.

“Maybe you're not prepared to answer them now, so we'll just give them to you for later,” said Corkum, who went on to question the numbers in the petition itself.

“How many signatures were there?  Of those signatures and comments, how many of them live in Kentville?  How many of them are signing just to request the study?” Corkum asked.  “Are you aware of the negative impact that this campaign may be having on local business?”

The petition was discussed with great passion when the meeting moved on to new business, and all of the councillors in turn were able to express their views. Their message remained clear: feedback from citizens is welcome, and the council remains open to finding improved methods for governance.

“We see the passion of these citizens, and we agree,” said Corkum. “We need to put Kentville first.”

Corkum questioned whether amalgamation is the best means of doing this, stating that representation for Kentville citizens at a new council would be limited to two members, and the services currently offered within the town could be impacted.

“You can say goodbye to the three-minute response time of Kentville Police,” he said. 

Instead of an independent governance study, council pointed to the Kings 2050 plan, which already includes recommendations on regional governance. 

“I really feel that this community is on the right track. Are we perfect? No, we're not. None of us are. I know of only one man I know who was perfect, and they crucified him. There are days when I open the Advertiser that I feel like I'm being crucified,” said Coun. Nola Folker-Hill. 

“Can we do better?  Yes we can,” added Corkum. “But we do it by working together rather than tearing down.”

Organizations: Kings Citizens Coalition, Kentville council

Geographic location: Kentville

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Recent comments

  • A concerned Kentvillian
    March 03, 2016 - 20:20

    After reading some of the said Petition comments it appears that many citizens of Kentville are outraged with some on the verge of civil disobedience .. They are concerned that many of the downtown businesses are closed, boarded up, and remain unsightly ? The trains stopped running here in 1999, the Buses don't stop here anymore, and now our Municipal Airport has been forced to close and move to Greenwood ( Warden Brothers riding ) ? We've lost the Waterville sky diving., recreation, and pilot training businesses after they were all forced out by Kings County Council ? The town police force is gradually decreasing in number ? Many of the remaining Downtown businesses have to shovel their own snow and piles of snow from street cleaning are left to accumulate on the Street preventing shoppers from parking their cars ? And now it looks like the Cornwallis Inn will be left to deteriorate following the owners exit and unfortunate bankruptcy ? Over the years we've lost the movie theater, the fruit stand,. the bakery, Leons , Harveys, numerous Cafes, the Edge pool hall, , the children's Wading Pool, etc etc ? The A.B. Festival budget has been cut to the bone and grand street parade is now barely 1 hour long ? And this coming July, when most other Canadian towns and cities are at home celebrating Canada Day , the citizens of Kentville will once again be forced to go elsewhere to sing Happy Birthday because of a miserly ( and highly unpatriotic ) town budget cut ?

  • Iza Dabiza
    March 01, 2016 - 21:21

    Well, Boss Tweed has spoken... Using "local business" and the Kentville Police as political human shields tells us one thing... Someone is running scared, is sorely out of touch, and has run out of reasoned arguments to support their views. Next thing we know, it will be this old chestnut; "It's all about the children."