Moving on to Dartmouth Centre

Jim Smith
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Politically Speaking

I've been representing Burnside Business Park since...

I've been representing Burnside Business Park since I was first elected as a Regional Councillor in 2000. That changes this October with the new number of councillors and the new boundaries.

District 9 was cut in half when the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board decided the new boundaries. Burnside, along with the residential area north of Albro Lake Road, will be included in a new district called Harbouriew-Burnside -East Dartmouth. The other half of the present District 9 will be added in with two other district areas called Dartmouth Centre.

Once I decided I would run for another term as Regional Councillor it was a difficult personal decision in respect to which new district I would choose. I have forged great relationships in all areas of District 9 with residents and businesses.

However, a decision had to be made and I've chosen to run in Dartmouth Centre, so I will be leaving Burnside as the official council representative in October. Certainly I will continue to support the growth and success of businesses in Burnside, as well as all those who frequent and work in the Park.

I have written many times about the important impact Burnside has on all residents of HRM. The success of Burnside provides tax relief to HRM residents, as well as important jobs and services. As has been said by many, Burnside Park is the goose that laid the golden egg and it continues to grow. In about 10 years Burnside Park will be close to maxing out on its land availability for new construction.

Representing Burnside was not always easy. In the early years a volunteer group connected directly with the Chamber of Commerce oversaw the Park. There were many local issues that has to be kept in abeyance because the Chamber mandate was to deal with the larger issues and not so much with local Burnside concerns, such as traffic congestion, the condition of sidewalks and parks, etc.

Eventually that direct relationship as a committee of the Chamber was severed. Dedicated volunteers moved to a form a business association now called the Greater Burnside Business Association (GBBA). This volunteer group is membership-based and fully self-supporting.

To be frank, balancing the needs of the nearby residential area with the business needs of Burnside is always difficult for a councillor. I've always been impressed with the professional capacity of the members of the GBBA's board of directors and that has allowed my involvement there to be a productive one.

I'm proud to have been involved in representing Burnside and making headway with relationship building with HRM; in particular, having successfully advocated for many infrastructure improvements. When we improve Burnside its for the people who come and use the services and who work there, as well as the owners of the businesses.

I wish everyone a great summer.

Organizations: Dartmouth Centre, Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, Greater Burnside Business Association Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Burnside Business Park, HRM, Albro Lake Road Dartmouth

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