We would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the reeve and council of the RM of Edward for involving their ratepayers in the process of amalgamation with the RM of Arthur and Albert.
More than 70 ratepayers recently attended a meeting to discuss how this newly created municipality could/would be run.
There were very few municipalities who welcomed this forced amalgamation but were dragged kicking and screaming into the process by a provincial government that wanted to reduce the rural voice. What better way to accomplish this than to slash representation by amalgamating municipalities.
They loudly proclaimed that we were ineffective and they knew better how we should be run. Most RMs ran at a surplus while those in a higher power run at a deficit. Just who is ineffective?
Our councillors have worked long and hard to try to ensure that all the joining municipalities have equal representation at the table. Because a consensus among the participants could not be reached, Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers was asked to decide. His decision was that there would be three councillors for each of the three current municipalities and one reeve at-large. He also decided that the RMs of Albert and Arthur would have three wards each and the RM of Edward would have one ward. His logic escapes us.
Fair and equal, you decide.
As Pierson will be the largest town in the new municipality, our council requested one extra councillor to represent the town. This would not have given Pierson any kind of control; it simply would have had representation at the rather large table.
Remember, nine councillors and one reeve will vote on any request for funding from anywhere in the municipality. Majority rules — just because you present good and valid reasons for such request does not mean you will automatically get it.
In 2015, it will be the responsibility of those elected to council and reeve of Two Borders Municipality to work together for the betterment of everyone living in this new municipality. Fair and equal representation will also mean equal payment of expenses. No ward(s) should be expected to pay other than their fair share of those expenses.
As an election looms in the future, it is our responsibility as ratepayers to elect strong, fair-minded people to represent all of us as we move forward and try to make this work for everyone concerned.
If you are happy with the representation you already have, let them know. If not, please do your homework and start looking for others who will let their name be put forward for the benefit of all members of this new municipality.
We should expect open dialogue between us as ratepayers and those we elect to represent us. Our future growth will be in their hands, let’s make sure we make the right choice for all.
Neale and Gail Daniels