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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

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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