Grade this year: B-
Grade last year: B
She lives just outside of the district, but Gloria McCluskey is the definitive councillor for Dartmouth Centre---the seat is hers for as long as she wants it, which is why no one opposed her in the October elections.
McCluskey serves her constituency well---the former mayor of Dartmouth, she has an encyclopedic knowledge of the district, and knows what’s needed where. More, she has a typical Dartmouthian’s distrust of the Borg-like municipal government housed across the harbour, a distrust that leads her to, for example, oppose the tax reform effort and to call out the burgeoning bureaucracy. These are good things.
But, with her seat secure, it’s time for McCluskey to rise above simply expressing Dartmouth resentment and to form a vision for the greater HRM. Without that vision, her complaints about the “assimilate or die” bureaucracy sound increasingly like snide petulance. For example, although she ultimately went along with using economic stimulus funds for a new Central Library, McCluskey’s been sniping from the sidelines against that project for years---not from any principled standpoint, so far as I can figure, but simply because rather than being in Dartmouth, the new library will be a 15-minute bus ride away.