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Report suggests scrapping four Bridgewater committees

by Keith Corcoran

 COUNTY - Eliminate four Bridgewater committees and refine the workings of two others, says a review report.

 Have informal committees replace the parks, recreation and culture commission, and start the process of scrapping the Brookside Cemetery commission, tree committee and the parking commission, the report suggests.

 Eight recommendations came from a 40-page report prepared by a committee of mostly town staff mandated to look at the efficiency and effectiveness of the way things are being done.

 Bridgewater councillors see the report as a process for new opportunities for volunteers and don't want it interpreted as a slight to those who sit on those committees and commissions.

 "These committees are valued. Their service[s] over the years have been valued - we just are looking at a different way to deliver the same service," said Major Carroll Publicover. "We feel it's absolutely essential that they understand that we just didn't come along with a wave of a wand and say let's get rid of a bunch of committees."

 Council agreed to ask the impacted committees to respond to the report's recommendations.

 "Some of those committees have not been reviewed for decades and there may be better ways to meet the needs that fall under those categories of service," the mayor said.

 The review report also recommends looking into changing the town's relationship with the DesBrisay Museum by amending its legislation governing the Bridgewater museum commission. It also recommends changes to the heritage advisory committee and a closer relationship with the non-profit group Bridgewater Development Association, which was created by the town.

 There were other recommendations touching on communications with the community by making better use of the internet with possibly creating a mayor's newsletter, and posting council meeting records on-line.

 There were no recommendations about the police commission because it is mandated by the provincial police act and already had a major review not that long ago, Mayor Publicover said.

 There are no timelines attached to the report's recommendations, meaning it could be months before council decides its next course of action.



posted on 06/24/08
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