Chelsea, Qc council must list aims in order of priority

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by admin on July 14, 2010

By Kensel Tracy

In response to the Valley Voices article, “Normal Democratic Process ongoing at City Hall” (Low Down, July 7 edition), I wanted to thank Sheldon Weatherstone for continuing to represent the views of Chelsea, Quebec residents with our new Chelsea Citizen’s Association.

Ward 6 Councillor Edmond Hetu has some very valid comments and points out that council is following a normal democratic process of trying to do the right thing for residents and taxpayers.

In order to give the community a clear understanding of what it is council is actually doing or planning to accomplish, now would be the operative time for council to prepare a list of priorities and make citizens more aware of what it intends to focus on for the next four years.

Having a better understanding as to council’s priorities would allow the community the opportunity to become familiar with the actual issues, the pros and the cons, etc., and when public meetings are held the opportunity for a more meaningful dialogue.

Chelsea council and Mayor Green have demonstrated that they are taking an active role in removing many of the previous council’s communication conflicts with the community and are demonstrating the will for more open and meaningful dialogue with the community as a whole.

It would also be prudent now for council to restate the views of the ten-year plan, the elements they intend to keep or discard, and identify the key issues that they are considering or those issues that will need support or input from the community.

This would help us as residents to better understand the “big picture” for our community, where it is we now and where we are headed, so that we may become more actively involved.

It would also provide a better use of council’s time by not having to “fire fight” those issues that residents feel come out “left field,” like the water and sewer debate.

As Coun. Hetu states, ideas presented at public information sessions are not the same as bylaws presented at council meetings. In the past, council made up its mind on what was going to be done and then tried to tell the community after the fact, or when it was already too late for meaningful dialogue or input.

This created a lot of mistrust in many the dealings of our previous council.  It also created a number of conflicts, as those in the know supported the issue and those that just found out needed more time for the debate.

Having a list of priorities on those items of concern for our community would allow residents to better understand the issues and what the future holds for them now and for those children and grandchildren that Coun. Hetu talks about.

Kensel Tracy lives in Chelsea, Quebec.