Municipalities have a couple of options available to them with regard to planning. The important aspects of planning include public involvement, setting appropriate goals and directions, and keeping them up to date.
The Municipal Plan is designed to provide specific land use zoning and regulations at a minimum but it can be used for much more. The current Municipal Plan for LB-MC-OC was developed in 2005 making it 8 years old. There have been amendments over the years but it is time for a new plan.
The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan for LB-MC-OC is available on the website here, and it does meet the very minimum requirements it is missing significant components including specific prioritized goals and objectives. There are lists of plans but they are not very reader friendly or useful in understanding the real planned direction of the town. We need a new ICSP developed in conjunction with the Municipal Plan that will address issues including a coastline development plan.
All levels of government are responsible to the people who elect them and part of that responsibility is to engage citizens wherever practical and possible.
Council has a number of committees that help analyze and determine directions for the Town. There should be opportunities for residents to take part in some of these committees as there is a variety of expertise and interest in the community.
Council minutes should be available on every medium possible including the Town website and Facebook.
As indicated above, citizen involvement in all Town planning activities is an integral part of the process. No just in the development stage but also on an ongoing basis to ensure the plan remains active and fluid to continue to meet the requirements of the Town.
Social Media. The Town should better utilize Facebook, Twitter and the Town website to help disseminate all information to residents. This is especially important when time is a factor, such as in an emergency.
Newsletters. The Town newsletter is a fantastic document but it should be issued on a more frequent basis and should provide additional details around Town expenses and activities.
The Town of LB-MC-OC does not provide water and sewer services to residents due to our minimum lot sizes and the costs involved. As such they provide less direct services to residents then many other municipalities. I would like to see the Town examine possibilities around improving the existing services and explore other potential service that could improve the quality of life for residents.
As it is one of the few direct services the Town provides and can significantly impact residents, snow clearing should be a priority for the Town. The quality of snow clearing has been mixed in the last number of years leaving some roads not cleared until long after the morning rush. This service has been contracted out, but perhaps it is time the Town explored the possibility of purchasing a piece of equipment and creating another job in the community that would also see our streets as the only priority for the service.
As LB-MC-OC residents are responsible for their own water supply issues it is likely that the drinking water in many homes goes untested for years at a time. There is a free basic testing service available but it only covers the very basic bacterial testing, anything beyond bacterial would require a complete testing by a water testing specialist. There are possible contaminants like lead and other metals, chemicals, oils or pesticides that can leach into the water table.
I would like to explore the possibility of the Town contracting a firm to provide this service at a discounted rate to residents in order to ensure safe drinking water for all residents.
As with drinking water, sewage disposal is each homeowners responsibility. Again I would like to explore the possibility of the Town contacting a firm to provide a sewage pumping service at a discounted rate.