Last year, we gave Linda Mosher a high grade (for us) of B-, in large part because she successfully got her longtime pet cause, city-provided plowing of sidewalks, approved by council. Having political clout should be an important measure of councillors’ effectiveness, but it works the other way around, too: If they use that clout to implement bad policies, they should suffer the consequences.
Having a blanket, HRM-wide policy of the city plowing sidewalks is just plain stupid. Sure, it can be useful in the suburbs, and about half the suburbs already have taxed themselves to get the service. Mosher could’ve encouraged the residents in her district to do the same, but no, she worked to get every neighbourhood in HRM to have city plowing, whether they wanted it or not. The evidence is in: plows don’t work on often-narrow, and often-impeded, urban sidewalks with lots of foot traffic. It takes shovelling, by hand, to do the job right. No sooner had the new policy been implemented than our first ice storm arrived. The plows packed the ice, making sidewalks treacherous. Hundreds of people suffered broken bones from slipping on the ice this winter, and Mosher’s ill-conceived policy is responsible.