David Hendsbee was recently at the centre of a headline-grabbing controversy over road paving. In a nutshell: without consulting residents on O'Connell Drive in Porters Lake, he committed them to paying higher property taxes to get the road paved. He says it was a judgement call made with no time for consultation and he stands by his decision, which will end up costing the residents a couple of hundred bucks a year. "It'd cost more than that to pave my driveway," he says.
Hendsbee is a longtime politician, first representing Preston on the Halifax County council, then elected as a PC MLA in 1999. He lost a close re-election battle in 2003, but won his present position on regional council the following year.
He brings an old-school PC sensibility to council---he speaks of widening and eliminating turn lanes on Dartmouth's Main Street so residents in his district can more quickly drive to Halifax, and he's a strong supporter of a third harbour crossing.
Worse still, Hendsbee was an initiator of the cat bylaw and bizarrely suggested that a municipality-wide referendum be held on the issue.
Grade: D David's cell: 483-0705
WHAT WE SAID IN 2007 (Grade: D+)
"Long-time politician Hendsbee has a healthy sense of humour, but the fact that he was on vacation during what was supposed to be this spring’s budget deliberations is no laughing matter. As for his own theoretical mayoral initiatives, Hensbee offers, “I would advocate for more parkland and recreational areas. Create more multi-use trails. Have a planetarium/botanical gardens complex built next to the public gardens on the site of current HRM greenhouses.” Then, the even more ambitious: “Advocate for a new Metro Centre and convert the current facility into an expanded convention centre.” And finally, the super-ambitious: “Have a third harbour crossing---tunnel from Woodside to the south end of Halifax to Robie Street via railway cut and incorporate a direct truck route for Halterm within it.” Woah."
"Remarks: Sorry, you just can’t be on vacation during budget season. It’s too big a part of your job to miss. It would be like us leaving during Pride Week or Jazzfest or The Annual Best of Food poll (speaking of which, have you cast your ballot?)."