Presentation made to Town of Creston by Al Garrecht

Presentation to Creston Town Council Oct 16-06 Mayor Snopek, Council Members and Area Directors.

Creston Valley Governance Study Results:

First of all thank you for the invitation to represent the Town of Creston as a community member on the committee. This was a major learning experience about the Regional District and how it operates other than simply seeing it as a component on my property tax notice. I won't go into any of the technical data, as most of you are familiar with the contents of the final report. I will highlight of some of the positives and negatives from my perception.

Some of the Positives 

-- The commitment of those members who regularly attended and contributed to the dialogue.

-- Sussex Consulting and Tom Reid's most credible analysis of the Regional District, its complexities and very actionable recommendations to move the process forward.

-- The Area Director's regular attendance at the meeting and for their valuable inputs but did not try and dominate the process.

Some of the Negatives

-- The original committee structure attempted to include many organizations and societies in order to provide a diverse community representation. Unfortunately a number of these organizations did not participate. I suspect those who attended 1-2 meetings did not communicate the happenings and information to their members. A smaller committee would be more functional.

-- The protective attitude of some organizations rather than with the attitude that "to change is to grow and ensure survival."

-- The unchangeable misconception of some who believed the process was for the Town of Creston to rule the entire Valley.

-- Lack of attendance at the original 8 public meetings and the 5 public meetings to review the final report.

Questions to Answer

-- How do you identify people who have the community's best interest in mind and get them to serve on these committees?

-- Would a specific mandate attached to the study or position that would include words such as "to change, to restructure", "to create a District Municipality" generate the type of interest and community participation we would like to see?

-- What communication vehicles can we employ to effectively inform the general public of the issues?

-- How do we create an attitude of "for the good of the community" rather than "what's in it for me" or "that will cost me too much?" Perhaps resourcing professional assistance to develop the positive positions is an option.

-- Should we use the "Non-Binding Ballot" at Municipal Election Dates to gauge the community interest on issues and whether there is sufficient interest to move to the next step.

What were the actionable results of the CV Governance Study? [As per the letter from the Regional District, September 8/06.]

I would further suggest that the two studies now on file, Williams and Sussex, provide sufficient detail and that spending monies on a future like study is not warranted.

I believe the implementation of an alternative Sub-Regional Governance model is the action that can move us to the next step, which is a District Municipality.

Al Garrecht Chair Creston Valley Services and Governance Review