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Bernard Smith leaving Spring Garden Area Business Association 

Nancy Tissington taking over as manager

After nearly seven years in the position, Bernard Smith is leaving his position as manager of the Spring Garden Road Area Business Association. "The organization is on solid ground," he says, "and it's time for me to find something else to do."

click to enlarge Bernard Smith
  • Bernard Smith
Smith brought his immense talents to Spring Garden Road, stewarding the street into the hottest retail district in the Maritimes. His presence is a gigantic one, his shoes impossible to fill, but Smith's confident his replacement---Nancy Tissington, a former HRM staffer who worked with the bureaucratic side of the city's three business improvement districts---will prove capable. "Nancy has a marketing background I don't have," says Smith. "She'll bring all sorts of good ideas."

Even though we're on different sides of some issues, most notably the proposed convention centre, Smith and I have developed a close relationship over the years, meeting occasionally for coffee in the Smiling Goat, a now-flourishing business that Smith likes to think he helped along by holding his business meetings in. That he would meet with me at the drop of a hat indicates just how much of a gentleman he is---he had to carry the load for two.

click to enlarge Nancy Tissington
  • Nancy Tissington

I've been interested in Smith because of his history. He was the finance director for the former city of Halifax, and was "pushed out"---his term---when the Halifax Regional Municipality was created in 1996. "They said they wanted younger blood," he says, still bitter. "The books were closing March 31, and the last council meeting for Halifax was March 28, I think. Well, I had an audited set of books complete to as close of a date as I could get---March 15. I didn't want anyone to come back at a later date and say, 'Halifax left us a deficit,' so we closed out the books, no debt, except for a couple of bond issues. We had a surplus, more assets than debt."

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