Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A letter to our new Community Development Officer

My topic today, CHAD Transit, concerns at least two (perhaps more) of the essential sectors of a good community – transportation and leadership.

So, I'll also direct the content in an open newspaper letter to Katy MacDonald the new Community Development Officer.

At the meeting on March 8th called to discuss CHAD’s succession, I was pleased to see the communities’ elected leadership well represented. I understand that many of (...continued) our councillors have their regular jobs, but there was at least one present from all six municipal councils. One advised that he received his marching orders to be there not from his Council but from his wife – although he may have been joking as everyone laughed.

During the discussion, that Councillor and others advised that they all fully supported CHAD Transit and could see and appreciate the great benefit its transportation system gave to people with disabilities and to seniors. However, they did not perceive any need other than in those two groups – others who might benefit from a public transit service were not calling their councillors or coming to their meetings to request or demand such a service. And generally that is what councillors do – they listen to those requests and demands and make decisions as to what they can fund within their budgets with a reasonable tax rate.

As the meeting was breaking up, I spoke for a minute with Councillor Parker. He allowed that yes indeed, councillors generally waited for and dealt with the requests and demands of their constituents but he was concerned that always just being reactive was not good community leadership. I agreed – that is not good community leadership.

So to Katy MacDonald and her organization I say: you could do a lot of good by arranging a program of community leadership for our present and future community leaders. I believe that “failure of leadership” is a prime reason why so many of our communities are languishing. But, I must stress that no one is to blame for that. It's the expanding globalism over a few short decades that has greatly increased our need for improved community development. And, we are just beginning to study and learn how the twelve community sectors interact and what is needed to foster their good synergies and balanced development. The End - Return to main page

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