Coun. Jennifer Daniels was one of several councillors who supported Zwicker's motions. She said they should have the chance to work with their neighbours first.
“As two fresh, new councils, we have not been afforded the opportunity to sit down together and work on mutually agreeable areas that really we duplicate in and have some meaningful conversations,” said Daniels, suggesting they try to find some “low lying fruit” to work on.
Throughout the discussion, Monroe was steadfast that the studies should proceed so that they would have the necessary information to make an informed decision. She also indicated that the working relationship between the two entities still has a long way to go.
“I think one of the biggest issues we have is the growing and continuing division between the two municipalities here. Even though we're attempting to put lip service to cooperation, every action we take is a divisive action. I just completely disagree with that,” said Monroe.
Coun. David Keith said he heard loud and clear that his constituents were opposed to amalgamation.
“Amalgamation is formed because of weakness. Somebody has to be weak or there wouldn't be any amalgamation,” said Keith.
He went on to say the public needs to be consulted.
“We owe it to our citizens to meet with them in their halls and explain the situation. And believe me, they're not stupid. They know about amalgamation. OK? They're not children. It's around us,” said Keith.
The topic may be broached at the Jan. 12 meeting when joint council sessions resume. The meetings had been terminated in 2015 due to a lack of cooperation between the two municipal units. The meeting is slated for 5 p.m. in West Hants' council chambers.