MAYNOOTH- Local mayors and council members are among the many people who have had to navigate some pretty challenging circumstances over the past couple of years. Besides the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, townships also have had to shoulder an unprecedented amount of responsibility. A growing number of items that were once dealt with by higher tiers of government have been passed down to the municipal level.
This shift in responsibility has dramatically increased the amount of reading mayors and councillors must do before each meeting, and it has also broadened the scope of knowledge required to do their jobs. Despite the rising demands of their jobs, most local elected officials seem to be rising to the challenge by meeting head on the new responsibilities that have come their way. Recently, we checked in with Hastings Highlands mayor Tracy Hagar for her assessment of the year that just ended and her outlook on the year ahead.
When asked about the sources she was able to draw on for support and encouragement during the past year, Hagar said that council, staff, community, and most of all her family were the groups that she relied on for support.
In response to the question, “What have been some of the biggest challenges of the past year and how have you overcome them?” Hagar replied, “We have had many challenges this past year but I think Hastings Highlands new Customer Service approach “Have Your Say” has helped to overcome them together.”
This new feature on the township’s website allows residents to share their ideas in order to help shape municipal decisions on projects, policies and initiatives. Residents are invited to visit this site regularly to learn more about those projects for which council currently is seeking public input. This feature allows council to remain engaged with ratepayers during times when in person council meetings are not open to the public. It also allows real-time access to current information that can reached by both full-time residents and cottagers.
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