Give public a vote, majority agrees

BARRY’S BAY – Madawaska Valley Township is moving ahead with giving appointed volunteers a chance to vote at the committee level.

The issue was debated at the January 8 finance and administration committee meeting. Cheryl Stanley, a Combermere recreation volunteer and only delegation of the day, started by asking for full participation of the public on standing committees.

She said by doing so, it allows council a way of tapping into the knowledge, experience and wisdom of a larger community.

“It is important in these times that we have an engaged and united community,” she said.

Stanley reminded council that candidates promised during their election campaign to get the public involved.

“The people of Madawaska Valley Township made a very clear statement in this past election; that they are ready for change and want a more transparent and inclusive government,” she said.

Through her own research, she has found several local townships who have successfully involved community members on various committees.

One includes Horton Township in Renfrew County. According to Stanley, the volunteers on the committees are voting members and adhere to the same code of conduct and confidentiality as the members on council.

Get your January 14, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.