The Regional Municipality’s Chief Administrative officer says better labour relations are needed between firefighters and managers of the fire service.
Marie Walsh’s comments came during a meeting of council’s Fire and Emergency Services Committee this afternoon.
Firefighters said last year they’d lost confidence in management, and the labour dispute has been happening as the municipality tries to find a new fire chief.
A recruiter will be asked to find a new chief after the municipality says it was unable to find a suitable candidate.
Walsh says some progress has been made in talks between management and firefighters, but she says a new chief is needed for all of the outstanding problems to be addressed.
Regional Deputy Fire Chief Chris March says there have been fewer grass fires in the municipality this season.
March told Council’s Fire and Emergency Services Committee this afternoon firefighters responded to over 1,200 grass fires last year but the number went down to less than 500 this year.
March says he’s not sure what’s behind the reduction, but he says it might have something to do with public education efforts and local press coverage of the grass fire problem.
March says there were no injuries reported as a result of the fires this year after a couple of injuries were reported last year.
Some Regional Councillors have a busy day ahead.
The Fire and Emergency Services Committee meets this afternoon at 2:00 at City Hall in Sydney.
On the agenda is an update on the search for a new fire chief.
Then at 6:00 this evening, all Councillors will gather at City Hall for a Council Meeting.
On the agenda is a recommendation to crack down on unauthorized signs on power poles.
Staff will also be asked to look at options for a new by-law to regulate signs.
A Halifax man was released on bail today after being arrested in Eskasoni on drug charges last week.
46 year-old Terrance Thomas Dixon faces charges of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Hydromorphone and Possession of Crack Cocaine.
He was arrested on Thursday after RCMP say they stopped a vehicle that was driving erratically.
They say officers seized the vehicle, as well as hydromorphone, crack cocaine, cash and a cell phone.
Dixon is due back in court in Eskasoni for a plea hearing on August 13th.
Municipal Affairs Minister Chuck Porter will be in Cape Breton today to meet with Regional Council at City Hall in Sydney.
Council’s four-year 223 million dollar capital plan is expected to top the list of items up for discussion.
The plan depends on cost-sharing from both the province and Ottawa.
A viability study on the financial health of the municipality is also expected to be on the agenda along with equalization.
The proposed library for the Sydney waterfront is not on the list because Council wants to discuss that subject with the Premier.
The meeting with Porter is due to start at 3:30, this afternoon.