Creating a Pesticide Ban based on 100% emotion and then having Quebec Claim that 2,4-D is safe to use as directed, thats not a first, thats a Non Transparent Scam Ms. O'Farrell.
it has become a point of pride, a lauded accomplishment, a visionary move
Could Hudson be on the cusp of another first?
Brenda O'Farrell | Just between us | November 27, 2013
In 1991, the town of Hudson passed a pesticide bylaw. The act, a modest attempt to restrict the cosmetic use of dangerous chemicals, thrust the town into the headlines, sparked a 10-year-long string of court challenges and, in the end, put Hudson at the forefront of a growing, worldwide environmental movement. It was precedent-setting, a Canadian first. A model that hundreds of other municipalities have adopted in the decades that have followed.
This bylaw, No. 270, concerning pesticides, voted into law back in May of 1991, put the little town in the spotlight. That was not the initial intent. But that was the result. And in the intervening years, it has become a point of pride, a lauded accomplishment, a visionary move.
Could the citizens of Hudson about to witness another similar moment?
After living through an extremely humiliating year, where the pride Hudson residents feel for their little town has been tarnished by a string of scandals that plunged town hall into four ongoing investigations involving allegations of corruption and fraud, decisions are being made to turn things around. Among the moves being charted right now are guidelines to help restore the public’s faith in how business is handled at town hall. That is the aim. But the result could be much greater. The result could put Hudson in the forefront of another crusade – that of municipal transparency.
The move toward that started earlier this month, right after the Nov. 3 election, when the new council, along with the town’s new top civil servants, published a list of payables. It was the first step. Not everyone recognized this, but this is what transparency looks like – simply letting people know where their money is going.
In the coming months, council intends to go farther. The municipality will provide the public with details on what each cheque and contract represents so that everyone can see exactly what is going on. It also aims to lower the limit for contracts that have to go to public tender. Right now, contracts worth $25,000 or more must go to tender. In Hudson, it will be for any contract worth $10,000 or more. Again, the aim here is to go above and beyond in an attempt to rebuild the trust that has been broken between the town, run by the previous administration, and its citizens.
The move has already been lauded by advocates who have been pushing all levels of government to not simply talk about providing more transparency, but actually delivering it. There has been a lot of talk, so far. But Hudson is the only town to actually take action.
The dark days at Hudson town hall could have a silver lining. Pride could return. Hudson, once again, could be held out for all to see as being the new standard when it comes to public administration. No one saw that coming during the election campaign.
You learn a lot about a person by observing how they spend money and how they handle their bills. Are they organized? Do they live within their means? Are they impulsive, responsible and/or prudent? Do they plan for a rainy day?
The same can be said about a town, especially a small one. How it spends money is a process that reflects certain priorities and qualities.
Hudson residents might still be on the hook financially for past problems. But they might be able to look back at this time and still keep their pride. Being ahead of the curve is a nice place to be.
To read more about new guidelines being put in place at Hudson town hall, click here.