Grade this year: C
Grade last year: D+
Last year, I gave David Hendsbee a D+, then, a few weeks later, the Mineville community in his district burned up in a forest fire. “Not a D councillor anymore,” Hendsbee joked afterwards, referring to all the work he had to do connecting residents to emergency services.
And you know what? I agree. Hendsbee had to pretty much invent emergency political response in HRM. Moreover, when the Spryfield-Fergusons Cove fire hit last month, Hendsbee lent his time to the effort, spending the night in a Spryfield emergency shelter and using the experience he had gained in Minesville to help councillors Linda Mosher and Stephen Adams respond to the fire in their districts. As if that wasn’t enough, Hendsbee enlisted the services of a family who had lost a home in Minesville to provide a sort of ad hoc grief counselling to those residents who had lost homes in Fergusons Cove.
Otherwise, Hendsbee mostly maintains a predictably conservative political profile. He does, however, sometimes show surprising openness. He was, for example, a “No” vote on the Waterside Centre development downtown; he said he held conflicting views on the matter, but in the end he went with his gut, rather than with his usual “all business is good business” mantra.