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Forty Mile to invite communities to Coffee with Council

Posted on September 21, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith
Commentator/Courier

An opportunity for residents to ask their questions and raise their concerns, the councillors of the County of Forty Mile are looking to plan a series of meetings.

The hope is to engage with residents on a conversational and casual level, in hopes of better learning what each community has on their mind.

“They just need to be heard,” said Deputy Reeve Stacey Barrows. “I think they just need to have their visit with us and have questions, but it needs to be there so we know what they want for their communities.”

The communities of Burdett, Winnifred, and Manyberries were all put forward as potentially high priority for these “Coffee with Council” meetings, but no dates or definitive selections have been made for the handful of meetings that Barrows would like to do this fall before the holiday season.

Neighbouring municipalities to the west, including the Town and Municipal District of Taber, have been conducting Coffee with Council meetings with constituents for several years now with varying degrees of success.

Barrows added that she doesn’t like the idea of calling these meetings town halls, feeling that the title was too formal for the energy she wanted.

“It’s just more casual, keep it to visiting with them. They’re gonna have concerns, they might get irate,” said Barrows. “It’s hard to say; but, it’s just let’s see what our community wants before we start making decisions on different things.”

Barrows requested that council return with dates for a select few of these meetings to happen this autumn, with more to come in the new year before seeding season, in order to understand how to put their best foot forward for residents in the future.

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