Public Consultation

When speaking with citizens of Almonte, one theme was stressed to me over and over: public consultation.

The citizens’ choice

When was the last time your councillor sent you an email or phoned to say “Hey, I’ll be at (old town hall/local restaurant/library/Legion/other) on Saturday morning if you have concerns about that proposed (Official Plan/park sale/OVRT/zoning change)?” Or, “send me an email about (snow-clearing/traffic speed/crosswalk/water overcharge)”?

There may have been troubles with the bandwidth at the Municipal office a year ago when the cabling went in, but what has been holding your councillor back lately?

Informal consultation can be frequent; formal communication needs to be regular.

The problem I heard with public consultation was not just that it was infrequent and amounted to lip service; it was that few on Council listened. At the August 9, 2016 meeting where staff and Council proposed selling Don Maynard Park, only one Councillor waded into the crowd outside and spoke to people, and that was Councillor Paul Watters, who represented Ramsay. The Almonte councillors didn’t: apparently, they knew better than more than thirteen hundred of their own citizens.

You can expect me to ask you for your advice and your preferences in a number of ways. Let me know what kind of contact you prefer.