Council Matters is a new monthly opinion column that will help to summarize matters that have come before Amherst town council over the previous month.
This current elected council has initiated many new methods to provide better flow of information, and transparency, like the live social media updates during committee of the whole and council meetings, council briefs in the Newspaper following monthly meetings, and posting of all minutes to the town website.
This column will provide a quick summary of all the many things on the go. March and April were very busy months with the Town of Amherst hosting a Municipal Poverty Forum with the community health board.
Poverty is one of our strategic priorities, and this platform provided us with valuable information on the direction and role that the municipality can have on this matter.
We are currently in the middle of setting budgets and enhancing our strategic priorities for this fiscal year. We are always looking into ways we can provide best in class services as well as ways to market, enhance and beautify our community to attract new residents and businesses. Council and town hall welcomed Rebecca Taylor as our new business development officer, as well as Shelly Rector as our new CFO, both with important projects that they are working on.
We have beautiful new marketing materials ready for the tourist season, a new Amherst Industrial Park promotional brochure and as well as an updated business information database, updated website, and continue with the promotion of Amherst to potential businesses, and awareness of our new commercial phase-in bylaw to help existing businesses grow.
Council has been looking at the adoption of the Active Transportation plan, and making changes that will see impact for our residents.
The dog park pilot project came to a completion on April 30t and it was hugely successful, and are currently looking at alternative sites to have something long term for the town.
The town took part in several litter clean ups, and we are trying to get ready for the spring planting needed to make us shine again this summer season. This year Amherst is taking part in the Communities that Bloom Program and are fortune to have the experience of our Horticulturist to guide the town to another show stopping season.
A joint council meeting was held in Oxford with representatives for Amherst town council, Municipality of Cumberland County and the Town of Oxford in attendance, as well as a Joint Tourism Strategy Committee formed to begin work developing a tourism strategy for the entire Cumberland Region.
This group is currently recruiting six tourism industry representatives.
On May 1, representatives from all three councils met with the Cumberland physicians at the Cumberland Credit Union Business Innovation Centre to discuss urgent and pressing matters concerning staffing, recruitment, retention of our doctors and other medical staff.
We are forming a combined group with our physicians to help have a united voice for our area with the province and to assist in any way that we can.
I look forward to updating you monthly on various issues, and as always feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheila Christie is the deputy mayor of Amherst