Ward 4 candidate Sabine Dietz says ‘it’s absolutely crucial’ who gets elected mayor

Ward 4 candidate Sabine Dietz

Sabine Dietz says she decided to run as a Tantramar council candidate in Ward 4 after Andrew Black announced he would be running to become mayor of the new town.

“I decided that yes, I can imagine working with Andrew to make this work for all of the community,” she said during an interview last week.

“It’s absolutely crucial who gets elected mayor,” she adds, noting that whoever is elected mayor will have a seat on the board of a newly strengthened regional service commission.

“There are going to be all sorts of committees and the mayor will essentially determine who sits on those committees to make sure our Tantramar interests are represented and defended,” she said.

“That’s why it’s absolutely crucial who gets elected — someone who understands the role of the regional service commission, who can ask the questions that are needed and who can make a stand,” Dietz says.

Dietz, who is currently serving as a Sackville councillor, is running against her council colleague Matt Estabrooks for the Ward 4 seat.

Estabrooks declined an interview request from Warktimes saying in an e-mail, “I have chosen to use my own social media and good old fashioned face to face conversations to communicate my positioning in Ward 4 issues.”

For her part, Dietz says she has knocked on almost all of the doors in Ward 4 which includes Pond Shore Road, Upper Sackville and the Midgic area.

“I know there’s about 660 voters in the area and I estimate about 300 houses, or units I should say, because some of them are apartments,” she says.

“In some cases, just a flyer in the mailbox, if there was nobody home, but I’ve visited all but a handful.”

Ward 4 issues

Dietz says residents are concerned about tax increases especially since property assessments have risen so steeply and they’re also worried about the services they’ll receive from the new town.

“There are these questions about, what does it mean for me?” she says, adding that snow clearing and road maintenance are big concerns even though the province will continue to provide those services in the outlying areas for the next year or two.

She notes that people on Pond Shore, who were within Sackville’s town limits, continue to worry about speeding as well as ATVs on the road.

“There was also something very curious that I noticed,” she says.

“Part of it was a quiet excitement that folks in outlying areas can now vote, but on the other hand, there was the total opposite, ‘This is stupid, I don’t want to have anything to do with it.'”

Dietz says it will be important to try to reconcile the interests of the residents along Pond Shore, Mount View, Church Street and Station Road, who were part of Sackville, with those in the rural areas.

She also noticed that younger people have been moving in, attracted to the area because of lower housing costs, but also affected by the steep rise in property assessments.

“It’s interesting, it’s different, Ward 4 feels almost more like a provincial riding where you get the same kind of broad range of interests and  differences in what people think.”

Dietz says that if elected, she will continue to work on climate change issues even though next year’s budget is still uncertain and no one knows, for example, whether the province has made any provision for the climate-change co-ordinator position that Sackville requested.

New layer of government

Sabine Dietz

Dietz points out that the provincial government has downloaded some of its responsibilities to the newly strengthened regional service commissions that will oversee regional economic, social and community development as well as tourism and recreation.

“I feel we’re on the brink of losing some of our own capability of addressing issues locally and moving them to an unelected body which is not what we want,” she says.

She notes that the province will pay the added costs next year, but in 2024, “believe me, we will be paying.”

Dietz fears that decision-making power will shift to the regional service commission.

“It’s in the opposite direction to where we need to go,” she says.

“We need to make our communities stronger, take ownership over all of those files that are important to us like housing, health care, social development, economic development, tourism, climate change — all of those really need to be embedded in the community and what is happening is some of those things that make us stronger and more resilient are being taken away from us.”

Dietz says that since Tantramar’s mayor will sit on the board of the regional service commission, it’s crucial to elect someone who understands the issues and can defend the town’s interests.

“We’ve got communities such as Dieppe and Moncton in there, they have a way stronger voice, but only in theory. If you’ve got a good mayor, the mayor will be able to stand up in this forum,” she adds.

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11 Responses to Ward 4 candidate Sabine Dietz says ‘it’s absolutely crucial’ who gets elected mayor

  1. Marika says:

    She’s right, that’s why we need someone with management experience, like Bonnie Swift!

  2. Geoff Martin says:

    Marika, the CAO (and not the mayor) is the manager of the municipality. The two most important things a council does, under the leadership of the mayor, is to set the annual budget and hire and supervise the CAO. All other staff report to the CAO. The last thing we need is a mayor who wants to do the CAO job along with their own, especially if they are a divider rather than a unifier.

    • Marika says:

      That might be how it has been working – though I’d say that it has been more of a case of Council hiding behind the CAO, but I think that this should be reformed.

      The CAO’s role should be to execute the policies and the day-to-day, not to make all the decisions. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a mayor, councillors, and elections, to be a bit blunt about it? An executive mayor would be a nice benefit.

    • Mike Gallant says:

      How does the heir apparent Mayor (Mr Black) if elected, propose to work effectively with the Tantramar CAO who he contends was hired through a flawed process – you know, the hiring committee that he was supposed to serve on until he resigned/quit? He’s never been asked that tough question by the local media? (No, I’m not stumping for Mesheau or Swift). I guess he gets a free pass on this?

  3. Dave Bailie says:

    Well said Sabine ! As usual you have done the work & research required and are prepared to help all of us meet this new challenge head on. I wish we could support you ,once again , but alas we are not in your Ward 4. We do hope the people in Ward 4 will make sure you are on this new council as this new ‘Town of Tantramar’ needs strong, knowledgable councillors like you.

  4. Tantramarshire says:

    Sabine Dietz ran for Mayor in 2012 and lost. That was a close call for the people of this region. I hope that her Agenda is exposed once and for all and her connections and the network she works actively with [she is the furthest thing from a democratically minded representative you could imagine] having the opportunity to comment in the past on her election campaign blog in 2012 and watching her ‘remove my comment’ after it was posted as well as a curt email to me to follow up why she removed the comment told me all I ever needed to know about this minion. I really hope that Bonnie Swift wins this race because God knows Tantramarshire deserves a human being, and not a brainwashed technocrat, at the helm here.

  5. Wayne Feindel Puppet of the people says:

    A mayor is just another councilor until presiding over a regularly constituted meeting. It’s tough but as chief Justice of the community there is no editorializing unless making a ruling or insuring the words in the motion say exactly what the motion is to act on. The little bit I have seen has been pretty sloppy and costing Sackville too much both in money and competency and trust. The mayor always orders the motion of the majority be acted on but defends the minority because some day they might be the majority.

  6. Anyomous says:

    “Defend the towns interest”

  7. Allan says:

    If I had to choose between chewing off my own foot or having Sabine and Black at the helm. I’d pick chewing off my own foot. Come Monday if I am limping you’ll know the outcome.

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