SYDNEY — The Municipality of Inverness County gets good marks in an Atlantic Institute for Market Studies report on the performance of Nova Scotia municipalities while some other Cape Breton municipalities don’t fare as well.

Inverness, with a B minus, comes third among 47 of the province’s 55 municipalities that received a final mark representing a measure of their efficiency and effectiveness in areas ranging from governance and finance to recreation and culture.

Warden Duart MacAulay said Tuesday although he hasn’t pored over the report, it was exciting news for Inverness and he was appreciative of his administration, staff and council.

“I honestly believe this will be a good baseline for us for future considerations on keeping track of some of the kinds of things that we are trying to do within the municipality.”

“There are some places there where we did extremely well and there are some places where it is quite obvious that there is room for improvement.”

Inverness very large geographically with a limited population, he noted.

The Municipality of Richmond County earned a final mark of C plus, coming 24th, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality got a C and ranked 34th, Port Hawkesbury earned a D plus and 46th-place finish and a final mark for Victoria County was not available.

Port Hawkesbury Mayor Billy Joe MacLean questioned how accurate and complete the information gathering had been for the report.

“I don’t think the report is an authentic document,” he said.

MacLean noted his community has partnered with Inverness to invest in a state-of-the-art sewage treatment facility, has a state-of-the-art water treatment facility and boasts one of the top recreation facilities in the world.

Lockeport got the best mark, a B, followed by Middleton, Inverness, Kings and Shelburne (town). The majority of grades for all municipalities fall into the C-plus range which has the institute suggesting there is still plenty of room for these municipalities to make improvements.

The institute noted no municipalities got a failing grade.

The municipal performance report grades municipalities in different categories using a three-year average (2005-2007) for efficiency, which looks at how they spend tax dollars, and effectiveness, looking at the extent to which a service or policy achieves its intended result.

Holly Chisholm, a policy analyst who worked on the report, hoped municipalities would heed its results, looking not at just a final mark but each category.

“Then, they can look at municipalities that operate in the same environment and maybe have the same size and geographic attributes … or ones that are close by and say, ‘You do better at environmental health effectiveness than we do. Why do you have fewer waste water backups or boil water advisories? Let’s talk about this.’

“Residents as well, they want to know what is happening with their money,” she said. “They have to pay a lot of taxes and it seems like their property assessments go up every year and their tax rates are going up and they want to know ‘what are you doing with our money?’”

The report is available at the institute’s website at

The institute describes itself as an independent, non-partisan public policy think tank based in Halifax.