Committee fan? West Nipissing resident? Council has you covered

West Nipissing council has given the green light to two committees—one brand new, the other a revival from yesteryear. As for the new, a Community Services Committee will soon be seeking members, and the revived committee is the Youth Advisory Committee.

The Youth Advisory Committee hasn’t been seen in about six or seven years, West Nipissing’s director of community services Stephan Poulin reminded council. He spoke of the peak times when attendance and interest were high for the project, and there was a community youth drop-in centre. But it “fizzled away” he recalled, and the committee disbanded, and the council of the day closed the drop-in centre, primarily for “liability reasons.”

See: West Nipissing announces committee chairs, deputy mayor

However, there has been a lot of chatter within the community about bringing it back, Poulin acknowledged, a point that resonated with Mayor Kathleen Thorne-Rochon, who noted that councillors “heard a lot during the campaign of finding ways to keep youth engaged and motivated” within the community.

Such a committee will ensure the voice of the youth is heard, Poulin summarized, “so we’re looking to council to bring this type of committee back.”

And so it shall be, declared West Nipissing council. The details as to what this committee structure will consist of remain in the air, but the details will be worked out soon, and once done, the public will know.

In the meantime, don’t expect a return of the drop-in centre, as the creation of the committee and the creation of a drop-in centre are not the same, the mayor highlighted. However, the committee is a nice start which “will give us the opportunity to connect with youth and see what we can do for them.”

Next up is the Community Services Committee, a brand-new addition to the municipal committee roster.

“The idea is to get public input into what our community services look like,” Mayor Thorne-Rochon emphasized, and that can include ideas about arts and culture, recreation, and leisure within the community to thoughts on how to improve the museum.

“Arts, culture, heritage, leisure and sport,” the mayor clarified, and once the terms and structure of the new committee are drafted by staff, it will come back for council’s final approval. In the meantime, civic-minded residents can prepare to apply to serve, as both committees will require members of the public.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca