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Council looking for more synergy with volunteer groups

Posted on June 12, 2019 by Taber Times

By Trevor Busch
Taber Times

With myriad protocols and procedures to be followed before community volunteer groups interested in completing projects on town property can move forward, Coun. Mark Garner has suggested the creation of a checklist document.

Referencing recent problems involving the Baseball – Softball Enhancement Society and the construction of a fourth ball diamond at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park — a situation which saw a funding resolution passed and then rescinded by council in a matter of days — Garner argued the necessity of creating a document to give clear direction to community groups.

“I’d like to see if we couldn’t investigate, or look into, the formation of some kind of a document that we could give to community groups that come to partner with us on projects, in light of some of the misunderstandings we’ve had with a fourth ball diamond,” said Garner at town council’s May 27 meeting. “I think, having been involved with some projects myself over the years, the people in the community don’t understand the qualifications, or hoops that you have to jump through, with the town to really partner effectively. I think the people that come to us with really good ideas that we would like to kind of push forward — if they knew up front what the qualifications were so that we could work well with them, I think it would solve a lot of our issues.”

Garner pointed out the creation of such a ‘check-box’ document would help ease mutual frustrations on the part of groups and town officials in dealing with shared projects.

“When somebody comes to us — let’s say to build a dog shelter, or a fourth ball diamond, whatever it is — we can say ‘hey, that’s a great idea, we can pursue that – but here’s the form, this is what we require.’ Because, I think, having been on some of those projects before, it can be frustrating working with the town, and I’m sure it was very frustrating for the town to work with people that maybe don’t have their ducks in a row, so to speak. So I think if we communicate better right off the start, it will assist everyone.”

Mayor Andrew Prokop and Coun. Garth Bekkering recommended the idea be brought forward by administration to a future meeting as a request for decision.

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