Grade this year: B
Grade last year: N/A
Jennifer Watts hit the ground running, leading the resistance to the Bayers Road widening and putting forward a proposed ban on plastic bottles in city buildings and a range of suggested changes to the HRM By Design planning initiative, all within her first six months on council.
Watts is progressive, and is conversant with peace and social justice rhetoric, yet knows how to couch those arguments in language that her fellow councillors, who may not share the same background, understand. Watts, for example, single-handedly placed affordable housing back on council’s HRM By Design agenda.
Moreover, Watts seems to engender enough goodwill among council to win over allies---in one case, even the unmovably stuck-in-the-mud Steve Streatch came over to her side.
Watts doesn’t need to do anything differently. Her shortcomings, such as they are, are simply a matter of lack of experience---she needs to learn how to better work the system, when to hold back, which avenues are the best to pursue to achieve her goals. I have complete confidence that she can master those skills.