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Mono to hold Town’s first town hall meeting this fall

June 30, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Mono Council decided Monday to hold a town hall meeting sometime next fall, and to consider following the example of Mulmur Township by holding them twice yearly in future.

The action followed a meeting June 9 of the Mono Research Advisory Committee (MRAC) which recommended that Council hold regular town hall meetings as part of a move to increase “citizen engagement” in the town.

A resolution passed at the MRAC meeting said its research showed that the move would demonstrate that Council “values the right of citizens to have an informed say in the decisions that affect their lives.”  The meetings would also “contribute to closing the gap between governments and citizens [and] allow public servants and politicians to reconnect with citizens’ needs, priorities and values.”

Other benefits included “invigorating current democratic practices … bringing meaning to peoples’ participation and fostering a two-way dialogue between citizens and governments.”

In addition to the town hall meetings, MRAC suggested the Town “implement a system/processes that ensure timely and informative answers to citizen letters, emails, phone calls, etc.,” and “establish customer service/communication protocols for all staff and Council.” Other suggestions were that the Town encourage citizens to provide their email addresses “for regular, quick contact,” and that it “better publicize meetings, issues, events, etc.” and expand its use of newsletters, the town website and social media.

In an addendum to its report, the committee said Town hall meetings “are being used successfully by some of our neighbouring communities here in southern Ontario. The Township of Mulmur holds two town hall meetings per year and Don

MacFarlane has reported that the initial meetings were poorly attended but that attendance has been increasing over time. The last meeting was held on April 9 of this year with about 100 residents in attendance.”

Mono Deputy Mayor Ken McGhee said he thought Council had been doing a good job in engaging its citizenry but joined with the other councillors in unanimously passing a motion to hold a town hall meeting in the fall.

         

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