HH mayor feels rural municipalities not fairly represented


MAYNOOTH – The mayor of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands feels that rural Ontario is not being well represented by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) or the Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (ROMA).

At the regular council meeting on March 16, Mayor Vivian Bloom spoke about the recent ROMA/Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) conference she attended in Toronto.

During the question and answer period of the council meeting, resident Bill Cheshire asked the mayor if she feels AMO or ROMA are doing an adequate job in representing small, rural municipalities.

“Good question,” Bloom said. “Answer: No.”

She explained that at the conference, representatives of communities with a population less than 6,000 were invited to a special meeting. Representatives of AMO and ROMA were in attendance during this meeting, who told attendees that many of their questions could be answered by their ROMA representative.

But Bloom said almost all of the attendees had no idea who their representative was.

Then, a separate meeting was held with the Rural Mayor’s Forum and AMO reps. The Rural Mayor’s Forum is a group of local mayors and others from Eastern Ontario that will petition the government on rural issues, something that ROMA is not doing an adequate job of, Bloom said.

“We told them that we didn’t feel that anyone was addressing the situations,” she said. “Nothing comes down the AMO wire. [Those] people are supposed to be here to support us and look after municipalities in Ontario. That’s where the funds are.”

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