New councilors might have changed the vote, By Amy Pugsley Fraser, Chronicle Herald, Oct 23,2008
New councillors might have changed the vote
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Thu. Oct 23 - 6:00 AM
If city hall’s five new councillors had been sworn in, the outcome of Tuesday’s vote on the Waterside Centre may well have been different.
Councillors who voted on the project ended up deadlocked 9-9, with a tie meaning the defeat of the proposal.
Three of the five newly elected politicians said the project looked good. And one of them even went so far as to say council was wrong to reject it.
"I think it was foolish to let it go," Jerry Blumenthal, elected in Halifax North End on Saturday, said Wednesday.
Mr. Blumenthal served on council for a decade before retiring in 2004, so he’s had dealings with several councillors, and also with Ben McCrea and his Armour Group.
Through projects like Founders Square, Mr. McCrea has already done a lot to develop the downtown while preserving its history, Mr. Blumenthal said.
Councillors should have had faith in his track record, he said.
"I can’t believe that council would have turned (the proposal) down."
Peter Lund, who won a tight race in Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets, said it was a tough decision for council.
"My gut feeling is that I would have voted for it," he said. "I’m for development in downtown Halifax and a lot seems to be rejected. Sometimes I think the heritage goes too far."
Lorelei Nicoll, fresh from her win in Cole Harbour, said the project "sounded good."
But she and fellow newcomer Barry Dalrymple stopped short of giving the project the thumbs-up.
One new councillor was opposed to the project.
Jennifer Watts, who’ll represent Connaught-Quinpool, said she would have voted to reject.
"The character of the buildings need to be maintained," she said.