Augusta Township begins appointing resident volunteer members to its Committees of Council
Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka
Augusta’s regularly meeting of Council on Monday December 10th was rescheduled until Tuesday, December 11th at my request so that I could attend to a personal matter. I appreciate Council willingness to accommodate the situation. As a result, however, I am unable to report in today’s column any decisions concerning subjects on Tuesday’s Agenda. That said, I can share that one of the important Agenda items for discussion during a closed session at tomorrow’s Council meeting is the selection and appointment of voluntary members for Augusta Township’s four Committees of Council. I should mention that voluntary members of Committees of Council are appointed at the beginning of each term of Council and serve for the length of the term. With the recent election, it is necessary for this new Council to appoint voluntary resident members for the next four years. The 4 Committees of Council include: the Operations Review Committee (ORC) which will be Chaired by Deputy Mayor Jeff Shaver, the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) which will be Chaired by Samantha Schapelhouman; the Economic Development and Tourism Committee (EDTC) which will be chaired by Tanya Henry; and the Recreation, Sports and Culture Committee and Library Liaison which will be Chaired by Michele Bowman, The ORC meets monthly to address Waste Management monthly and quarterly to discuss Public Works operations. The PAC, took on the practice last term of meeting at the call of the Chair and when needed. The practice will be reviewed as the mandate of the Committee broadens past severances to include more zoning, site plan control and other development issues. The EDTC met in the past on the first Monday of every month at 1:30 pm in the afternoon. The role of the EDTC is broad and includes the Mayors Breakfast, the Business of the Year event and the annual Business Showcase. Because the role for the Committee has broadened rapidly over the years, early consideration will be given to restructuring the Committee so as to spread out the work. The Chair of the Recreation, Sports and Culture Committee chairs the Township’s quarterly joint meetings of all Recreations Associations called by the Township. The “Chair” also attends the meetings of the individual volunteer Recreation Committees in Augusta Township as Council’s liaison representative. In addition, the “Chair” attends the monthly Augusta Township Library Board meetings also as Council’s Liaison representative. Selecting volunteer members for the above noted Committees of Councils is one to the most important pieces of business for Council because these Committees play an important consultative role in assisting Council members in their deliberations regarding the Township’s business and because the individual volunteer resident members bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and energy to the table. Once Committees are in place, they can review their respective Terms of Reference and adjust meeting dates/times according to the desire and availabilities of Chairs and Committee members. I look forward to getting these Committees of Council in place and functioning as soon as possible.
On a separate subject, Counties Economic Development continues to make the Multi-level Business Retention and Expansion project a priority in partnership with the 10 Municipalities of Leeds and Grenville including Augusta Township. The economic well-being of our community is dependent upon the strength and resilience of businesses. In recognition of this, a community-wide effort is being undertaken to conduct personal business visits as part of a Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program themed; “Strong Business, Strong Communities”. The Augusta BR+E Leadership Team in coordination with the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development staff will be meeting with businesses to gain a stronger understanding of business needs, challenges and future opportunities plus areas for the community and region to develop. The community information will be used to plan future economic development activities in the Township of Augusta and across Leeds Grenville. Results and recommendations for future development efforts will be shared at the end of the project. No business will be identified individually, as all data will be presented in an aggregated format. Business visits usually last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Sessions can be conducted at your business premises or an offsite location such as the municipal office or community centre. Shelbi McFarlane, Business Development Officer and Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager are coordinating all business visits. Your input is valuable and I invite you to participate.