By Chad Ingram
Published June 29, 2017
A few weeks ago, a delegation of seasonal residents showed up in Minden Hills council chambers, upset that council was, in their opinion, moving too quickly to approve a series of zoning bylaw amendments, some with implications for waterfront properties.
This was despite a pair of May public open houses on the zoning bylaw amendments that had been advertised by the township.
“And I apologize, but a lot of us don’t go to the [township] website,” the delegate said, adding that nor do most of his neighbours read local newspapers.
Whose fault is that? What does this guy expect? A taxpayer-funded mail-out about every bylaw amendment council makes? A personal phone call from the reeve to every potentially affected resident?
A gold-lettered scroll, delivered by a falcon?
The year is 2017 and there are multiple ways for residents of Minden Hills township, or any other municipality, for that matter, to avail themselves of information relevant to them.
Go to the Minden Hills website’s homepage and one of the first icons one sees reads, “zoning update,” under which is a clickable link where one can go to, “learn more.” There’s all kinds of other information too. An events calendar; a road closures application; information on tenders and tax sales; and council and committee meeting info.
All of this stuff takes approximately 3.6 seconds to find.
At the bottom of the homepage is a link to public notices and, in the same row, a link where residents can sign up for email alerts from the township. Email alerts about things like public open houses for zoning bylaw amendments.
In 2017, most people not only know how to navigate the Internet, but can navigate it from anywhere, using the mobile device in their pocket.
Don’t use the Internet?
You can have this very publication, packed with municipal announcements and replete with stories about local politics delivered to your doorstep in Toronto for $46 a year. That’s taxes included, folks.
There was a lot of talk during the delegation about the importance of protecting the delegates’ large investment in their lakefront properties. And that makes sense. Which is why they should be proactive in informing themselves.
It’s 2017. There’s no excuse for residents, seasonal or year-round, to be uninformed about the things happening in their community, particularly mandated, public processes.