Sunday, May 21, 2006

Have Your Say Wednesday

On Wednesday May 24th 2006, at 7:00 PM, there is an information session about Brandon City Council (and I checked, the Oilers don't have a game that evening, so you can't use that excuse for not attending). The objective of this meeting is to give people an understanding of how municipal government works. Specifically, the forum will cover such topics as municipal budgeting, responsibilities of municipal government, how people can get in touch with the city government and which issues should be brought up where, and how anyone who's interested can run for the City Council or Mayoral elections coming up in October.

This is an initiative of the Municipal Government section of Brandon's Community Strategic Plan. (The other areas the Plan covers are Agriculture, Cultural Diversity, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health, Recreation, Liesure, and Arts, and Youth.) It's a young project designed to solicit community feedback in the shaping of Brandon's direction. As such, anyone may become involved in any of the above-mentioned aspects that interest them, and due to the fluid nature of community development, may also become involved at any time. Each of those areas has set desirable "future statements" to be accomplished by the year 2010.

My first involvement with the CSP was when I was asked to attend a Youth Forum in October 2005. It was a 2-day forum, basically with one day devoted to youth 18+ and the other devoted to youth 18 and under. The forums consisted of discussion groups focusing on the other 8 of the above-named areas. After the YF, the participants were invited to participate in the aspects of the CSP that interested them, and I found my way into the Municipal Government section. Aside from what I have mentioned above, we have also discussed the idea of youth representation on council.

But can the CSP really have an impact? There is an expression that "when all's said and done, there is more said than done." Nonetheless, while that expression has proved itself true, the CSP is in its early stages, and I feel it shows a great deal of promise. It has been previously mentioned that specific targets that have been established, and these targets provide a benchmark against which to measure the Plan's success, and I believe with input and committment from local people the CSP can be successful and meat most of the targets that have been set.


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