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Council stepping into new territory for open discussion

August 24, 2015

Town Council

 

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Have you, as a Saugeen Shores resident, wanted to raise a concern or issue but didn't want to go through 'channels' to speak at a Council meeting?  Now is your chance.

Saugeen Shores Town Council is about to step into new territory with a new initiative that will hopefully get the public more involved.

Vice-Deputy Mayor Diane Huber raised the idea at a previous Council meeting that the public should have an opportunity to raise matters of interest to Council in a more public setting other than Council chambers.

The result is a 'Special Meeting' of Council that will be held on September 24th.  The meeting is an opportunity for any Saugeen Shores resident to raise a concern or issue to Council.  It is not intended as a debate forum but rather an information gathering session for members of Council.

The format of the meeting will be as follows:

  • The Mayor will Chair the meeting

  • Any member of the public wishing to speak to Council is required to sign the register

  • The order of speaking will be determined based on the order in which the register is signed

  • Speakers will be provided a maximum of 5 minutes to speak to Council

  • A one minute remaining warning will be provided at the 4 minute mark

  • Council will receive comments without engaging in dialogue

The last point of meeting decorum raised questions however at Monday night's Council meeting (Aug. 24/15) as some Councilors felt that there may be questions to which they could provide an answer.

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All of Council agreed however, that this would be an opportunity to hear concerns of residents but would not be an 'engaged dialogue' situation other than to answer a question.

"I would also like to see it as a more informal situation," said Councilor Dave Myette, "where Councilors can 'mix and mingle' afterward to listen to residents and what they may have to say about issues they're concerned about."

"We want to see this if this kind of 'special meeting' will be an opportunity for Council to hear what people may have concerns about," said Mayor Mike Smith.  "This is something entirely new for us and I think we can all learn from it."

This first meeting will take place at the Rotary Hall in the Plex from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on September 24th.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015