We All Need to Respect Our Volunteers

StephenVance 540What would the Municipality of Meaford look like without its volunteers? The services provided by the municipality or other levels of government are frequently and widely discussed and debated, but what about all of those unpaid hours given up by everyday citizens that help fill the gaps that are left behind after government and the private sector initiatives?

I'm not just talking about the obvious volunteers. We all know that without volunteers the annual Scarecrow Invasion, the Santa Claus Parade, or the local food bank wouldn't happen without residents generously giving up some of their own time and energy to make them happen, but volunteers are everywhere, and sometimes they are recognized, sometimes they are appreciated, and sadly sometimes they are overlooked, or worse, mistreated.

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Councillors Riding With Snow Plow Drivers a Fantastic Idea

StephenVance 540I hope at least some of our seven members of council take Meaford's Treasurer up on his offer for them to ride along for a shift with one of the municipal snow plow operators. The experience would no doubt be a valuable one, and perhaps they shouldn't stop there.

Just as I believe that upper management types in the private sector can benefit greatly by spending time experiencing the tasks and challenges experienced by those who are lower down on the corporate organizational chart, there would likely be a huge benefit found by councillors being woken up at 2:30 in the morning and shortly thereafter hopping up into a chilly snow plow truck, and heading out for a shift.

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Where Will We Get Our (Small Town) News in the Future?

StephenVance 540It has certainly been a depressing few weeks in the newspaper business as another round of layoffs and paper closures has punched the industry in the gut once again.

Our nation's largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, dropped the axe on nearly 300 employees with the announcement that they would close their printing plant, and instead outsource the printing of their newspapers.

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Hey Councillors, Stick to Your Job Description

StephenVance 540Meaford councillor Tony Bell was clearly frustrated Monday night, as he attempted to draw out of the municipal treasurer (who doubles as the top dog in the roads department) just what he is supposed to say to ratepayers who phone him to complain about the state of their roads now that the winter snow has arrived.

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