David Hendsbee’s biggest contribution to the commonweal this year has been to make sure HRM has a town crier. He’s been on this file since at least 2009, when as deputy mayor he implemented a succession plan after the unfortunate passing of the much-loved Peter Cox. This past year, Hendsbee convinced council to hire David Nimmo, of Dartmouth, for the duties, and to pay him $300 a month.Town criers like Nimmo serve a role in tourism promotion, right up there with the didilly-didilly music and the kilts, but Hendsbee’s obsession with the position seems to come from a sad realization that he’s picked the wrong career path. His odd behaviour at council starts to make sense when you realize he wants to be the town crier. Like town criers, he dresses in loud colours—a Boston Bruins jacket is typical attire—and is forever yelling “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” before blurting out some nonsense while shaking an imaginary bell at passing clouds. This would all be great fun if bus loads of tourists from the cruise ships regularly pulled up at City Hall and drunken Americans filled council chambers to admire our quaint culture, but until that happens, it’s mere disruption.