Woodstock mayor and council to host meet and greet in Northampton
Woodstock residents concerned about how the expanded community’s changing regulations will affect their lives will have a chance to speak directly to Mayor Trina Jones and council members as they begin a series of meet-and-greet sessions in Northampton.
Woodstock officials will visit the Northampton Rec Centre in Ward 5 on Sunday, May 28, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Mayor Jones said the planned meetings would take elected members to the outlying wards to meet directly with residents.
During the May 16 council meeting, Jones announced the date of the upcoming meeting in Northampton, urging residents from Ward 5 to join them. She added that all Woodstock residents are encouraged to attend any meet-and-greet sessions regardless of where they live.
“Mayor Jones and members of the Woodstock Town Council invite you to join them for conversation and refreshments,” the town said in a media release announcing the Northampton meeting. “Drop by to meet us and engage in conversation about topics concerning you, whether it be public safety, roads, recreation … as we want to hear from you.”
Previously, the town hosted open houses to gather residents’ feedback regarding developing a new municipal plan covering zoning and land use in all areas of the newly amalgamated municipality.
Council also fielded questions regarding ongoing road maintenance since the expanded town borders took effect on Jan. 1. While the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure continues to hold responsibility for the maintenance of roads outside the former Woodstock town boundaries, the mayor and councillors suggested they want to work with DTI to set priorities.
Residents outside the Woodstock Police Force’s current coverage area of Ward 4 may want to discuss the future of policing in their respective wards, presently under Western Valley RCMP jurisdiction.
During the May 16 council meeting, council provided details of the Woodstock Police Force’s expansive policing comparison and a proposed alternative model submitted to Justice and Public Safety Minister Kris Austin.
The document indicated the police force would need to more than double its staff, and policing costs would jump from $3.3 million to $7.7 million, minus the current RCMP cost of $1.5 million. The proposed model, however, demonstrated a substantial improvement in police coverage for the outlying areas.
Jones said she and council members are ready to discuss policing and other areas of concern with residents at the meet and greet.
The Northampton Rec Centre is located at 3781 Route 105 in Northampton.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun