Tantramar council adds extra RCMP officer in confusing vote

Treasurer Michael Beal

Tantramar Town Council appears to have rejected a recommendation from the RCMP as well as from Treasurer Michael Beal by voting to increase the number of full-time officers in the Sackville detachment by four instead of three.

In their presentation to council on Tuesday, RCMP officials recommended three additional officers for Tantramar under a new municipal policing service agreement (MPSA).

That would bring the number to 13, up from the 10 officers who policed the former town of Sackville.

The RCMP said it would also bring the total cost next year to $2.3 million up from $1.8 million.

Treasurer Michael Beal, who agreed with the RCMP recommendation, told council that Tantramar was being billed for only eight officers instead of 10 apparently because of vacancies caused by illness and problems recruiting new members.

He said under a new MPSA with Tantramar, the RCMP would have up to a year after the contract starts to bring the full complement up to 13. (The RCMP is hoping to have the new contract in place on April 1, 2024.)

Beal warned that adding an extra officer could cost an additional $170,000, although he acknowledged it’s unlikely the RCMP would be able to recruit one until sometime in 2025.

However, if they managed to do it, he said, the town would either have to raise taxes or make budget cuts.

Councillor Allison Butcher moves her orphaned motion

In a motion seconded by Councillor Barry Hicks, Councillor Allison Butcher moved to increase the number of officers in the new contract to 13.

Councillor Matt Estabooks (again, seconded by Barry Hicks) moved to increase the number to 14.

In a confusing turn of events, Mayor Black said the original motion had been amended even though council did not vote to amend it.

It pushed ahead instead to approve the Estabrooks motion by a vote of 8 to 1 with Butcher casting the only nay vote.

Now her motion sits unnumbered and orphaned on the list of motions that council considered:

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4 Responses to Tantramar council adds extra RCMP officer in confusing vote

  1. Dustin Chandler says:

    Math is hard. Cue the circus music and thank you for increasing taxpayer costs.

    • Christian Corbet says:

      These are largely failed business people thinking they’re intelligent enough to run a municipality when they can’t even do math. Sad and delusional.

  2. Percy Best says:

    I’m having a difficult time understanding the proposed financing of our allotment of RCMP for the Town of Tantramar taxpayers according to what our Treasurer stated.

    We are supposed to be supplied with 10 officers, but we only have been supplied with actually less than 8 because of long term disability, etc, and we only pay for the officers that we actually are supplied with, which has been approximately $1,800,000 per annum.

    Well if we do go to 14 officers, and they are all supplied, then that would seemingly equate to approximately $3,150,000 per annum and not $2,300,000. This would see a massive jump in our tax rate which could very well become the highest tax rate in the province. Not exactly an incentive for people to move to our town.

    From what I can gather, the Province will still be supplying officers for all the outlying areas, including Dorchester, and this will be in addition to the proposed 14 officers that will basically cover the original Sackville boundaries.

    More explanation is needed because I am not sure that even the Councillors seem to understand what is happening here. I know I am certainly not clear on the matter.

  3. Ross Thomas says:

    Hundreds of thousands to re-create marshland destroyed in retention pond construction- who knew there were rules around this? hundreds of thousands to deal with the evil black mud that nobody thought to ask Keith Carter or his farmer crowd about, and now hundreds of thousands for an extra police officer Town staff didn’t recommend, all with seemingly minimal fuss or research or debate, whilst a few thousand for inexpensive health promoting devices built by volunteers for volunteers and the public gets nixed. Yes Harold, we must be the Bike Shedding capitol of the world.

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