“ BMRA serves in an advocacy role with Town Council and staff on behalf of ratepayers to ensure and enhance our community’s quality of life.”
“Keeping the BMRA membership informed”
“One Year In” November 21 Public Forum Summary
A public forum was conducted by the Blue Mountains Ratepayers Association, in conjunction with Citizens Forum and the Blue Mountain Village Association, which focused on our new Council’s first year in office. We were joined by Mayor Soever and Councillors Matrosovs and Bordignon, who participated in a moderated Q & A session. We enjoyed a lively evening of discussion, covering a wide range of issues being faced by the Town of Blue Mountains, progress made by the Council, and outstanding challenges to be addressed.
The key insights included;
– An urgent need exists for a master plan to guide future development and infrastructure investment. In 2020 we expect to see a Transportation Plan and Drainage Plan to help construct that plan.
– Our “implementation gap” must be addressed – the needed expansion of TBM infrastructure, actually getting “shovels in the ground”, has fallen behind the projected pace of development. Even though money has been set aside for that investment, inflation in construction costs exposes us to the risk of not having sufficient funds to pay for the work when we are in a position to execute.
– Council has been capturing revenue opportunities – such as pushing MPAC to catch up with TBM residential assessments, so all are paying appropriate property taxes – but there remain issues of fairness that must be addressed. We are at a disadvantage in receiving provincial grants on a per household basis compared with other Grey municipalities, and we need to get a clearer picture of the value of services and infrastructure development we receive for the tax dollars we send to Grey County.
– Numerous Advisory Committees have been established with the purpose of gaining public input to development of program strategies. While some have gotten out of the blocks quickly, others are floundering, and Council must take action to ensure those struggling become more focused and productive. For example, Councillor Matrosovs mentioned the Agricultural Committee had few meetings in the past, and since she has taken on its leadership, she has been driving greater meeting frequency and more disciplined management. Other Committees need to be brought up to that level of effectiveness.
In closing, we would like to thank the three members of Council who made their time available, and the approximate 100 members of the three Associations who attended the Forum.