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Mayor's Opening Remarks - June 13, 2017

 

Good day and welcome to everyone

At the last Council meeting we passed our 2017 Budget with an overall increase of 2.11 %. Since the budget was presented I have met with several individuals and community representatives to further explain the budget and outline our goals and objectives moving forward. I reintegrated that  the theme or objective of the Budget was to improve prosperity through growth and efficiency. As with everyone's household, expenses for the Town increase every year. In order to improve our competitive position to attract new households or businesses, we must offset these increases by increasing our tax base and creating new revenue - not just increasing the costs to existing ratepayers.
We must also look at ways of improving the efficiency of providing services to our residents. Some of these measures have already been taken such as our Joint Fire Services, our new in house recycling operation and the recent move of our Town Offices. There are more to look at and you should hear updates on some of these latter in the agenda.
Back to the topic of growth, I have been asked how to we go about facilitating growth. Today you will see a couple of initiatives dealing with creation of an economic development strategic plan and the creation of a Community Development Committee - both geared to promoting a pathway to sustainable growth. With respect to what we individually can do - the number one thing we can do is to be positive about the the potential of our community and the opportunities available to us. People and businesses will migrate to areas that portray a positive image with potential opportunities and a high quality of life. Ask yourself the question of where you would choose to live and what are the characteristics of a community that would dictate your decision.
Reinforcing this theme is the presentation that several Council and Staff attended and the corresponding book that has been provided to all Council members. The author and lecturer is Doug Griffiths, a four term MLA and Minister of several portfolios including Municipal Affairs for the Province of Alberta. He lectures on the theme of 13 Ways to Kill Your Community. He arrived at this somewhat unconventional approach while he was a teacher trying to instil life lessons to his students. He found it far more effective to outlining all the things they could do to ruin their lives instead of the more conventional process on how to be successful. It resulted in the students having a reality check on how they were leading their lives and he has used this same approach across North America when it comes to rural economic development.
In the reading I asked Council members to do for today he states that every individual is responsible for the success of their Community and everyone needs to stop waiting for the upper levels of Government to solve their problems as it's not going to happen. He states and I quote;
" Regardless of the situation, a community's future truly rests within its own populace and their desire to achieve success. It is just that simple. In fact, I suggest a community that believes it can succeed cannot be stopped by Government or money. Conversely, a community that believes it will fail cannot be saved by government or money"
He conveys his message in 13 scripted points or chapters that outline things to do or continue to do to guarantee failure.
In the first chapter we have read (chapter 8) titled "Living in the Past" he emphasizes a couple of key points and I quote;
" Attitude is what communities live and die by, and few of those attitudes are more successful at killing a community than the one that has you living in the past"
He goes on to say;
"Wrongs have been committed and mistakes have always been made, and that will always be the case whenever people set out to accomplish something"

So it's time for us to stop lamenting on mistakes of the past and looking creatively and positively on creating opportunities for the future.

Next time we look at chapter 10 - Reject Everything New.

Paul Jenkins

Council Meeting - May 23/17 

 

Town of Bancroft Council Meeting May 23, 2017                      Acting Mayor’s Opening Remarks

This past Saturday, Councillor Kavanagh, CAO Lambe, Fire Chief Hoover and myself had the privilege of attending the grand reopening of the Bancroft Airport.
MP Mike Bossio and County Warden Rodney Cooney were also on hand to cut the ribbon in recognition of renovations to the terminal building and one of the hangers completed through a Canada 150 Grant. The group of Airport volunteers who have spearheaded these and other efforts should be congratulated.
The Airport has some very exciting plans for the future and we wish them success and our support as they continue forward.

              Bancroft Community Airport

Bancroft Community Airport

Later that day, this same contingent attended the grand opening of the Bancroft Brewing Company. Congratulations to the Krupa family - this is a very impressive facility that I urge everyone to drop in and see for yourself.

                                                       Bancroft Brew Company

Bancroft Brew CompanyBancroft Brew Company

Today we will table a resolution to pass the 2017 Budget as presented at last week's public meeting.
The Budget Process included evaluation of two budget scenarios - one reflecting a 2% increase and one at 13.9%.
The final budget resulted in an increase of just over 2% but incorporated elements of both scenarios. I'd like to thank Staff for laying all of the cards on the table as I feel it has resulted in a Progressive budget to facilitate future growth.
We also recognized the need to improve our digital infrastructure to improve efficiency - and communications - this budget moves us in that direction.

As everyone is also aware, back in December we raised our Water rates 6% and our Wastewater rates 100 % , for an effective combined increase of 53%.
We are aware of the potential hardships this may cause and we continue to search for solutions to allow us to reduce rates.
We are expecting announcement shortly of funding to conduct camera imaging of our sewer lines with the hope of finding the sources of infiltration.

Another fascinating and beneficial event that I attended this week along with Councillor Mullett, Councillor Kavanagh and CAO Lambe was a presentation entitled " 13 Ways To Kill Your Community"
This event was sponsored by Warden Cooney and the County of Hastings who we would like to express our gratitude to.
The presenter and author was Doug Griffiths, a long time advocate for rural economic development, a former Alberta MLA and former Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs.
He chronicles in 13 detailed steps how to ensure the failure of your communities prosperity. Of course, his intent is for everyone to realize that you must actually do the opposite in order to succeed.
Underlying his very relevant presentation were two major themes that he emphasized.
The first is the need for everyone to have a constructive and positive attitude and second that change is the norm and a necessity for progress.
His presentation is pertinent to Municipalities and organizations everywhere and no less here in Bancroft. In light of this we have purchased copies for all members of Council ( plus staff copies)
This will become our text book as we move forward and we will take the time to review the 13 points or chapters - just like being in school.
So please bring your book with you to every meeting and for the next meeting please read the prologue, forward and Chapter 8 titled - "Live in the past"
Let's see if we can use this book to help us move forward and have  some fun while we do it.

Last on my list today but not least important -
On behalf of Council, I would like to apologize to staff members for the personal and abusive attacks they have faced on social media that stem from decisions of Council, not decision of staff.
We appreciate the job you do - I would please ask the CAO to pass this message along.

Paul Jenkins, Deputy Mayor
Town of Bancroft   

                         

Notice of Intention - May 17/17

 

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Town of Bancroft

8 Hastings Heritage Way, P.O. Box 790
Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0

Phone: (613) 332-3331
Fax: (613) 332-0384

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