Russell Walker has been a councillor since the creation of the HRM, and he clearly understands how City Hall works and how to get results for his issues. He also has served as a strong representative to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, an organization that could use more publicity.
A member of the police commission, Walker pushed through $1.5 million in additional funding for the police department, over and above what had been allocated by staff. That figure balloons to $2.6 million next year and in future years.
Walker gave thoughtful responses to our questionnaire, demonstrating his grasp of the issues. Unfortunately, he's on the wrong side of many of them, most especially transportation issues---he's all for a third harbour crossing, widening Chebucto and building more and wider roads forever, until every last drop of oil is squeezed out of the planet at astronomical prices per drop. Well, he didn't put it that way, but you get the point.
Walker can also be cantankerous and disruptive at council meetings, which can be a welcome relief when the council needs a good shove, but comes across as petty most of the time.
Grade: C- Russell's Cell: 497-7215
WHAT WE SAID IN 2007 (Grade: D)¨
"Walker got himself into a bit of a controversy in July of last year while making a comment a recent shooting incident in Fairview. During an interview with the Herald, Walker joked that the incident more likely happened in Spryfield than Fairview because, you know, it’s Spryfield.
Needless to say, it didn’t go over well (those jokes about gun violence always fall flat) and Walker apologized. It was probably the most memorable incident of Walker’s year.Despite being former deputy mayor, Walker just didn’t seem to have enough presence.
Remarks: We’d like to say something more compelling here, but…well…we would have needed to hear more."
WHAT WE SAID IN 2000 (Grade: B)
"Comments: Needs special attention. HeÂ’s always complaining that HRM is picking on his district, whether it be negligent garbage clean-up or excess issuing of parking tickets. He doesn’t want anyone pulling a fast one him- he recently wondered if the casino was complying with HRMÂ’s relatively wondered if the casino was complying with HRM’s relatively new smoking bylaw, and had staff check it out. (Turns out they’ve got just the right amount of designated space to smoke in while your gamble.) Despite Walker’s quick response time when feeling slighted, he wins kudos for publicly chastising the mayor whenever council veers off the democratic process. During a public hearing last year, when speaking time was reduced from the customary five minutes to one, Walker screeched, “Your Worship, this is a public hearing!” and everyone got their say. Walker doesn’t like it when the law isn’t followed and is one of the busiest councilors, currently serving one nine committees."
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