Coun­cil’s pri­mary fo­cus is the bet­ter­ment of the com­mu­nity

The Amherst News - - OP ED - Darrell Jones

Edi­tor’s Note: is is the third in a se­ries of col­umns by mem­bers of Amherst town coun­cil. e col­umns are run­ning ev­ery two weeks in the Amherst News. To­day’s col­umn fea­tures Coun. Darrell Jones.

When you are elected to coun­cil you re­ally don’t re­al­ize the big learn­ing curve you will be in for (at least I didn’t). As a coun­cil­lor you have to be briefed on the di er­ent de­part­ments, the as­sets that go with them, the num­ber of em­ploy­ees in each and what their bud­get is. at is just lo­cal, then there are the pro­vin­cial de­part­ments. ese we just need to know, who they are and what their role is. Our very ca­pa­ble pro­fes­sional sta deals with this group on an on­go­ing base.

Also, as a coun­cil­lor it is my re­spon­si­bil­ity to be fa­mil­iar with the Municipal Govern­ment Act which in­forms us of what we can and can­not do as coun­cil­lors.

Some peo­ple be­lieve that as a coun­cil­lor you can make changes

over-night. You have to go through the proper pro­ce­dures just to get what you want on the agenda. coun­cil then di­rects sta to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter. Once they bring their re­port back to coun­cil we have to vote on it and each coun­cil­lor, no mat­ter how strongly they feel about an is­sue only has one vote.

The most im­por­tant thing we must re­mem­ber as coun­cil­lors is that we were elected by the cit­i­zens of this town and our pri­mary fo­cus should be on the bet­ter­ment of our com­mu­nity and to serve the needs of its cit­i­zens.

We have de­vel­oped a strate­gic plan to as­sist in the growth of the town. To help at­tract new busi­nesses to Amherst, and main­tain what we have, coun­cil has au­tho­rized the hir­ing of a Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer to fo­cus on this area. coun­cil has also ap­proved the cre­ation of a oneyear term po­si­tion for a Cul­ture, Tourism & Mar­ket­ing Co­or­di­na­tor. Our town has a lot to o er, i.e. our mu­se­ums, his­toric homes, and build­ings, and the Fiber Art Fes­ti­val. Amherst is the only town that can boast of be­ing the home of Four Fa­thers of Con­fed­er­a­tion, and we have the down­town mu­rals. We also need to do more to de­velop and pro­mote our Aca­dian his­tory and the Great Amherst Mys­tery.

Dur­ing our rst year the town has made sig­nif­i­cant progress on sev­eral ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects: wa­ter reser­voir re­place­ment, East Vic­to­ria Street re­con­struc­tion, Sta­tion St. storm wa­ter sep­a­ra­tion project, in­fra­struc­ture re­place­ment on High­field and Alma Street, new side­walk on Cham­ber­lain Street, and ded­i­ca­tion of the Dwight’s Jones Field. ese are just some of the projects that were done.

So as the journey con­tin­ues I will still push for this coun­cil to im­prove our code of con­duct for elected o cials, side­walks for our res­i­dents, and to pro­mote our town bet­ter to make it more ap­peal­ing to vis­i­tors. Let’ work on hav­ing an area for bus tours to stop in our down­town area along with a tourist cen­tre with pub­lic wash­rooms. We must work hand in hand with those who want to as­sist in mak­ing Amherst a tourist des­ti­na­tion. I would also like to see our parks and green ar­eas main­tained in bet­ter con­di­tion.

I have been ap­proached on the is­sue of the name of the town and the less than hon­ourable his­tor­i­cal facts about Lord Jef­fery Amherst’s deeds. I per­son­ally do not feel that the an­swer is to change the name of the town, this will not change the past, just mask it. ese events hap­pened many years ago when peo­ple had di er­ent ideas of what was ac­cept­able treat­ment of oth­ers. We can only move for­ward and make sure that we treat oth­ers as we want to be treated and make Amherst a friendly town for all.

In clos­ing if there is any­thing that I can as­sist you with please don’t hes­i­tate to get in touch with me.

Darrell Jones is a newly elected coun­cil­lor. He is re­tired from Cum­ber­land Joint Ser­vices, where he worked as the weigh mas­ter at the scale house and safety o cer for the fa­cil­ity for over 27 years. He is a mem­ber of the Board of Di­rec­tors of the Com­mu­nity Credit Union. He also worked for sev­eral years as an em­ploy­ment coun­sel­lor, and has over 29 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the Cana­dian Forces, re­tir­ing with the rank of Mas­ter War­rant O cer. He is also a mem­ber of the Alexan­dra Lodge #87, the Cum­ber­land Shrine Club and the Royal Cana­dian Legion #10. Born in Brook­dale, raised and ed­u­cated in Amherst, he is mar­ried to Lynn and they have two chil­dren Greg and Christa, and three grand­chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.