AIMS, that is the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, has come out with its municipal report card. We’re of course interested in how Wolfville scored in effectiveness and efficiency in delivery of Municipal services.  To understand the scoring here is AIMS explanation of their “grading” system.

The AIMS Performance Report grades municipalities based on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery using a three year average (2005, 2006 and 2007). Efficiency examines how the municipality spends tax dollars and effectiveness examines the extent to which a service or policy achieves its intended result.

These measures are further broken down into absolute, in-context and total. The absolute grades measure the performance of each municipality relative to the rest of the municipalities in the province. The in-context grades measure performance relative to reasonable expectations based on that municipality’s Input measures …. In context, municipalities are expected to do at least as well as other municipalities have done in similar circumstances. The final grade is calculated for each municipality by averaging the overall efficiency grade and the overall effectiveness grade. …

First they give the data set on which their scores are based. These figures are things like population, area, roads, average revenue per capita, property tax assessment per capita, long term debt per capita etc. You can look at those figures for Wolfville on page 6 of the pdf document linked to above. [You can tell already how far we are down the list!]

But what interests us more is the analysis and the grade given our municipality. This we think is a pretty good indication of how well we have been governed compared to other municiplaities in the province. Are you ready?

In Governance and Finance – Efficiency – an F ( 45 out of 54) absolute and in Context a D+ ( 44 out of 54)  for a Total of D (44/54) Effectiveness – D- ( 38 /54) absolute and a C+ ( 9/54) in context for a total of C- ( 27/54)

Taxation – Efficiency – a D+ (48 out of 55) absolute and C+ (26/55) in context for a total of C- ( 45/55)  Effectiveness:  C+ (26/55)  absolute   C- (51/55) in context for a total of C ( 37/55)

Safety and Protection:  Efficiency C-  (43/48)  in absolute terms B- (25/48 ) in context  for a total of C (39/48) Effectiveness F (48/48!!!) absolute F (48/48!!!) in context for a total of F (48/48) in other words dead last.

Transportation:  Efficiency A  ( 6/33)  absolute B- (12/33)  in context for a totol of B+ ( 6/33)  Effectiveness N/A

Environmental Health: Efficiency  B  ( 5/32) absolute B- (12 /32) in context  for a total of B ( 8/32) Effectiveness  C (39/55) absolute  D  (51/55) in context  for a total of C – ( 45/55)

Economic Development: Efficiency-     F (51/55) absolute F (52/55) in context  and a total of F (51/55)        Effectiveness  A+ (3/55) absolute  A+(3/55)  in context for a total of A + (3/55) 

Recreation and Culture: Efficiency   D+ ( 41/55) absolute   B- ( 15/55) in context for a total of C  (38/55)   Effectiveness = N/A

Overall:  Efficiency    C- (45/55 ) absolute C (44/55) in context for a total of C (45/55)  Effectiveness    D+ ( 41/47)  absolute D+ ( 44/47) in context for a total of D+ (44/47)

Final Score:  a C grade placing 43rd out of 47

We would not be proud of these numbers given what this town has had to work with compared to other towns.  It is neither efficient nor effective in too many categories.

At the top of the list? Lockeport and Middleton. And HRM is not doing badly at 6th place. If the new Councillors wants to set a goal or two one might be to improve Wolfville’s rating for the report card relating to their term of office. This “grade” could also be part of the CAO’s evaluation which is, or should be, part of his contract.