“Everyone welcome to attend.”
You see that phrase attached to volunteer meeting announcements, as well as town council meetings.
Councils are required to conduct their meetings before the public, but that’s hard to do if the public doesn’t attend.
I attend these meetings for the public, because you… Don’t have the time. Can’t see the relevance. Etc.
Local government is funded by the public – through taxes. Their meetings determine how that money is spent and how the public is governed. That makes every meeting relevant to you.
So much demands our attention these days, we have to filter out a great deal of it or we’d go mad trying to remember it all.
Believe it or not, these meetings can be interesting.
Like any ongoing drama, it takes a little while to figure out the players and the plots. The first meeting is always the hardest – it’s like watching a group of strangers talking to each other in a foreign language.
At least by the second meeting you know who’s who. By the third meeting, if you’re listening closely, you’ll recognize ongoing topics and phrases.
All local governments – town councils, school boards and regional district boards – are governed by provincial legislation that outlines what they’re responsible for, what they can and cannot do, etc. There are penalties and consequences for not following those rules.
It’s easier to take part in local govenment than you may think. Elections coming up Nov. 19.
Be sure and vote, but also consider running for a seat. You have from Oct. 4 to Oct. 14 to fill out nomination papers.
Councils are made up of ordinary people like you and I, who want to give back to their communities through service. You don’t have to be rich or a rocket scientist to sit on council. Just interested.
If you are interested, contact your Village Office and ask them for a set of nomination papers.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal