Positive Feedback from Public at Pre-Budget Consultation

Categories: 

by: 

Thomas Soulière

The Municipality of Pontiac’s Council held a pre-budgetary public consultation meeting last night, January 6, 2014, at the Community Centre in Luskville to facilitate the discussion between residents and Council in formulating the Municipality’s 2014 budget.

After wishing everyone a Happy New Year and thanking those in attendance, Mayor Roger Larose proceeded to describe the meeting’s format and introduced the special committee formed by Council to oversee the consultation process. 

“Tonight we welcome you to our first public pre-budget meeting," Mr. Larose began.  "This will give [Council] the opportunity to listen to you and to be better informed of your needs and priorities.  During the course of the [coming] years, we will be inviting citizens in each ward to meet with us to continue improving this process.  We have formed a Financial Administration Committee to be able to control the budget.  This committee consists of three Councilors: Brian Middlemiss as the President [along with] Nancy Draper-Maxsom and Denis Dubé as members.  They will be working with the head of the Finance Department, Ginette Chevrier Bottrill.”

Mayor Larose then turned the meeting over to the Committee and Brian Middlemiss along with committee members, councilors Nancy Draper-Maxsom and Denis Dubé, who then formed two working groups made up of rate-payers in attendance at the meeting to create a forum for citizens to express their priorities and concerns.

Each group was tasked with formulating a list of the priorities they felt represented their concerns and wishes, which both groups presented afterwards to Council and the general assembly for discussion.

The working groups were very constructive; each group, presided over by councilors Draper-Maxsom and Dubé, gave residents an opportunity to interact and discuss with members of Pontiac’s municipal council in a cordial atmosphere in which to raise their issues of concern.  Both junior Councilors demonstrated that they were informed and serious about the task of formulating Pontiac’s municipal budget for the coming year, and presided over their respective groups with a high level of decorum.  Both groups profited greatly from insights by veteran members of Council Inès Pontiroli, Dr. Jean Amyotte and Tom Howard.

The priorities expressed by both discussion groups related a desire for greater communication between the public and Council with improved dissemination to residents of Council activities, as well as adequate notice of upcoming changes and consultations. 

Participants also relayed the need for a more cohesive vision for development in the Municipality and a requirement to address existing issues in order to be properly able to proceed with the creation of a “Global Vision” for Pontiac’s future.

Members of the public also wanted to ensure that in moving forward, the needs of new and existing residents would be balanced to protect all home owners from an excessive inflation of taxes and changes to the character of the Municipality of Pontiac brought about by new development.

Infrastructure also rated high on the list of priorities, with improvements to existing facilities and roads being cited as a high priority for Pontiac by residents.  A need for additional parks and community centers as well as a desire for an arena were also brought forward as ways to improve life and address the inadequacies of available services in the Municipality.

The desire for improved transparency was also among the priorities stated in both working groups.  Another concern expressed were services for seniors with aid to assist them in continuing to live in their own homes. 

As well, a renewed emphasis on the importance of recycling and the management of green spaces ranked highly among participants.

Some in attendance inquired why for this meeting more detailed information was not made available.  Councilor Dubé explained that the Council must first pass a budget before details can be made available to the public, but assured rate-payers that the current council was committed to working with the public in formulating a budget that reflected their wishes as much as possible.  He added that there would be future opportunities for residents to participate in further discussions on the budget.

The outcome was very positive and those in attendance left the meeting with a sense of optimism generated by the openness of the process which Council is developing with the help of citizens to enhance the dialogue between residents and the Municipality to aid Council to better respond to the needs of, and gain direction from, the community.

The budget will be voted on at the next regularly scheduled council meeting on January 14th, 2014, at the Community Centre in Luskville, located at 2024 Hwy 148 at 7:30pm.

CORRECTION: The Budget presentation will be at 7pm and not 7:30pm as indicated above.  After adoption at 8pm, there will be a regular Council meeting that will follow.

Comments

Budget municipalité de Pontiac

S.V.P. Veuillez corriger : Heure de la présentation et adoption du budget de la municipalité de Pontiac est à 19 h 00 à 20 h 00 et elle sera suivie de la séance régulière du conseil.
Merci

History in the Making

Hurray, Hurray to the new Municipality of Pontiac Mayor and Council members for the meaningful inclusion of the residents in the Budgetary Process. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that meeting where it appears that History was in the making. Personally, I have not seen that sort of actual process inclusion / involvement since my school years. It’s a great start in a new direction!

I want thank and congratulate the Mayor and Councillors for moving our Municipality in the direction of true inclusion and transparency with the public.

Rick Knox

Not enough "public"

Only 8 members of the public showed up and all except one are regulars at council meetings. How long will council continue to hold these consultations if it's only a few people who are interested?

Public consultation

Although the number in attendance was small at the pre-budget council meeting, it was greatly appreciated by " most" of the citizens who did attend. We definitely want these consultation meetings to continue. It will take awhile for the citizens to realize that they now have a mayor and councillors who are willing to listen to the citizens and council has already demonstrated that they are open to input from the citizens. It is a great start in a new direction. While citizens may not be able to attend council meetings, they do want to be kept informed and know that they are not being ignored. This was the message that was relayed during the campaign. Citizens are saying now that the atmosphere at council meetings is like a breath of fresh air. Keeping positive is the only way to go forward!!!

Pages

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Creative summer art classes

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

Get some colour into your life this summer with bright new art courses at the Pontiac School of the Arts in Portage du Fort. This year, classes include watercolour painting, printmaking, screen writing and floor cloths (a durable painted canvas mat). 

Now in it's 14th year, the Pontiac School of the Art's mission is to inspire creative discovery in everyone.

For Over 8 MONTHS We’ve Had NO Emergency Route

Categories: 

by: 

Ashley Graveline

 


PHOTO: KATE ALEY

As someone who lives on Baie road and heads up to Quyon often, it really starts to hit how long Alary road has been washed out — and how annoying it is to detour around to head up to Quyon, Shawville etc.

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

Categories: 

Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

Categories: 

by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Pages