4 ̶ Refining the Process
[This letter appeared in the April 6th edition of the Times Star, Greenstone’s community newspaper.]
1 April 2016
On Tuesday, March 29, I attended the regular meeting of our Municipal Council. Although I did not entirely agree with actions taken on certain motions, I was favourably impressed by the overall performance of our Mayor and Councillors.
The issues in question concerned the sale of certain municipal assets to Greenstone Gold Mines. On the surface, the issues concerned mainly the Ward of Geraldton. Every Councillor, regardless of his/her Ward affiliation, had obviously studied the issues, and was prepared to give useful and intelligent input at that time. Since the discussion was limited during the open meeting, one assumes the issues had been thoroughly hashed out before decision time. And I regret that as a voter (with, I believe, useful and intelligent input) I had little opportunity to address those issues.
The Mayor ran an efficient meeting and treated all Councillors with respect.
A bit of history: In 2001, several communities came together to form the Municipality of Greenstone. It was believed that an expanded tax base and streamlined administration would result in significant savings to the taxpayers. Well, the savings never happened.
It was also believed that all the communities should be functioning as a unified whole in order to increase our political clout in the Provinicial and Federal arenas. That has happened.
And it was believed that all communities shared a common bond to achieve certain social and cultural and economic goals. It was believed that the success or failure of any one community was shared by its sister communities.
For a very long time after amalgamation in 2001, it was not unusual to hear the customary complaints about how this community was dragging down the whole, or that community was receiving a disproportionate share of the benefits, yada yada yada . . .
That kind of comment is now increasingly rare.
And the meeting on Tuesday night demonstrated that the Mayor and Councillors are now participating as full-fledged Greenstonians. They are acting not merely as Ward Councillors, although that role is still very important. Rather, they are, Mayor and Councillors, also acting for the good of the whole Municipality.
We’ve come a long way. I was proud of them.
Edgar J. Lavoie