Feedback obtained during a series of seven public consultations organized by the municipality of Ormstown will be used to feed a strategic planning process aimed at developing a five-year plan for the municipality.
The meetings took place primarily in French over a three-week period starting August 14, before culminating with a bilingual session on August 29 to ensure the opinions of all citizens were recognized. Several meetings were oriented around different groups or sectors, including commerce, industry and business, community organizations, seniors, youth, and the farming community, while others were open to the public.
“This is the first time a mission, vision, and values statement are being prepared for the municipality,” said communications coordinator Micheline Richard, who animated the consultation sessions with director general Alain Fournier. Mayor Christine McAleer was also present for the meetings but took a back seat to listen to citizens as they discussed the municipality’s strengths and weaknesses.
Bilingualism was identified as a strength, while several public security issues concerning roads, sidewalks, intersections, and lighting were brought up. Others focused on the recreational infrastructure or the lack thereof, and concerns over the pace of development and maintaining the municipality’s character.
“We have to think of the future in the long term,” insisted one participant, noting the environment and issues related to climate change were very pressing. “We have to have enough imagination to think of the consequences in 50 years, 150 years,” he added. Another resident noted the importance of ensuring that consultations would be part of a continuous planning process that reflects the community.
“People have been glad to be able to talk and voice their concerns,” said McAleer following the final meeting. She noted several subjects came up repeatedly, before suggesting the process was very positive overall. “My feeling is that there is a sense of trust,” she concluded, noting the municipality was indeed listening.