Letter: “Community Conversations” a mockery

On Thursday June 25th the Community of Valemount was invited to what was called Community Conversations. The Community Conversations were limited to a 1hr timeslot.

With the CAO chairing the meeting and the full Village Council present, the first 37 minutes of the 1hr were given to explain first how the meeting was being run, & what 5 key areas the Village seems to be working on. Each Councillor was given one of the areas to speak on.

Mayor Townsend spoke on the Glacier Destination Resort, Councillor Reimer spoke on the Trans Mountain pipe line, Councillor Torgerson spoke on the Geothermal Heating, Councillor Salt spoke on Working relations with the Simpcw First Nation, and Councillor Blanchette spoke on Healthy Community /Affordable housing .

The people who were in attendance were then told by the CAO to look at the bottom of the Agenda and look for the number at the bottom of the page. That number told you what group you were in. Everyone went to the respected places in the Community Hall, where one of the Village Council Members joined the group, according the number at the bottom of their page.

After a few minutes of trying to get clarification on whether it was the topics that were discussed by Council tonight or any topic in general, we were told that we could talk about anything and present 3 main tops of concern. After all of about 5-10 minutes, one spokesperson for each group presented their groups three questions for the Village Council to consider.

The CAO once again reassured everyone that the questions would be compiled, and the results would be forthcoming in July.

In my estimations, this was nothing but a mock Village Council Meeting, with the people in attendance participating by doing what they were told to do, in a ten minute time frame. When an Agenda is controlled so tightly by the people running it, this is no longer a Community Conversations. It was simply an hour of making the people believe the Village Council is actually interested in the people who elected them. This was a total waste of time, for the people who really do care about addressing the concerns of the taxpayers. This is just my thoughts on the meeting.

Maybe those of us who feel the same way should spearhead a real Community Conversation meeting, and invite the CAO and Village Council to listen to us for an hour.

Marian Plummer
Valemount

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