Bill Karsten is in danger of becoming likable. In the past, he’s been something of an ass, but the bad behaviour seems to be behind him. He hit the right note when, on principle, he agreed with a staff recommendation to decline to give the Red Cross $300,000 for a Preparedness Readiness Centre. Such a position was politically risky, but he made good arguments, without being annoying about it. In the end, he actually voted with the rest of council for the grant, but he had made his point. Karsten had long represented the suburbs of East Dartmouth, but with the redrawn districts he found himself additionally representing Cow Bay and Eastern Passage. He’s done surprisingly well there, immersing himself in the issues. For example, he ably represented a few dozen Cow Bay residents who found themselves on the losing end of a financing formula for storm water infrastructure. Karsten got that formula reworked, saving the residents many thousands of dollars. On the downside, Karsten was only one of two votes (Dalrymple was the other) against inviting the Community Monitoring Committee to speak with council about landfill issues. That may have been that old rudeness creeping back in.