YARMOUTH, N.S. – Municipal politicians and municipal staff from across Nova Scotia are converging on Yarmouth for the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities – formerly the UNSM – annual spring workshop May 10-12.
There are 129 delegates registered for the workshop, and many will also bring their spouses, adding to the number of people who will be in town for the event.
A local host committee was made of municipal councillors from each of the three municipal units in Yarmouth County. Serving on the committee were Wade Cleveland from the Town of Yarmouth, Patti Durkee from the Municipality of Yarmouth and Glenn Diggdon from the Municipality of Argyle.
“Our hand in it was to put together a Friday event for delegates to get to know each other in a more informal environment,” says Cleveland. “We planned a trip on the water on Thursday with Simon LeBlanc and Yarmouth's newest tourist experience, the Yarmouth Harbour Tour, and Friday night we're treating the delegates to a good old kitchen party.”
Previously known as the UNSM – Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities – the organization representing the interests of municipal governments from throughout the province has changed over to the name: Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities. According to the website it has a total membership of 378 elected officials representing all 50 municipalities in the province.
Following caucus meetings and a meet and greet on Thursday evening, and opening greetings and a president’s report by UNSM president Councillor Geoff Stewart of the County of Colchester on Friday morning, the workshop’s sessions will get underway and run throughout the day on Friday and Saturday.
The sessions will take place at the Mariners Centre. Topics to be covered include:
• Best practices implemented by municipalities to address infrastructure gaps, manage assets and enhance service delivery. Success stories and lessons learned will be shared by the Town of Yarmouth, the County of Kings, the Town of Lockeport and the Town of Shelburne.
• A session on solid waste and curbside recycling programs.
• An overview of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on the department’s approach to roads, as well as the Service Exchange Program and what it means to municipalities.
• Advancing energy efficiency and climate change initiatives.
• Information on the property assessment CAP program.
• And what cannabis legalization means for municipalities.
There is also a session planned on Saturday morning, May 12, to consider top priorities for municipalities and look at potential resolutions.
"What a tremendous honour it is to host the (spring workshop) right here in Yarmouth,” said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. “It's an opportunity to network with colleagues from throughout the Province, learn from each other and of course showcase Yarmouth County and all she has to offer.”
"As a member of the NSFM board, I'm a firm believer in taking advantage of conferences where we come together to learn from each other,” added Mood. “We owe it to our citizens to gain as much knowledge as possible on those things that affect our municipalities and these conferences are top-notch learning and sharing events."