ELMSDALE: Residents in the Municipality of East Hants (MEH) are being encouraged to sign up for three volunteer-based committees that will help council receive recommendations.
The committees also provide a chance to offer a perspective of members of the public in the community.
Right now, MEH is looking for volunteers to join the Planning Advisory Committee, which meets monthly except for August; the Accessibility Advisory Committee; and the Agricultural Advisory Committee, spokeswoman Jody MacArthur said.
“The involvement for anyone all depends on the committee,” MacArthur said.
The Accessibility Advisory Committee meets monthly between January 2021 and May 2021 during which the first municipal Accessibility Plan is being prepared, but after May 2021 it’s anticipated that meetings will be less frequent, likely every two or three months for the first year and then potentially less after that.
The Agricultural Advisory Committee have been meeting approximately once a year for the past two or three years, but in 2021 MEH will begin preparing planning policies and regulations for development in the northern area of the municipality.
“This area has a lot of land which is agricultural or has agricultural potential so the committee will likely meet more frequently for the next couple of years to discuss agricultural issues and opportunities,” said MacArthur. “This will feed into the new policies and regulations for an area of the municipality which has limited land use bylaw regulations.”
She said each of the committees provides recommendations to Council and generally spend more time on the detail of the issues or opportunities under discussion.
“For each committee, the involvement is to offer a perspective of members of the public in the community,” she said.
Those on the Agricultural Advisory Committee and Accessibility Advisory Committee are more specialized and will provide input relating to the mandate of the committee.
MacArthur said being on one of the committees provides an opportunity for Council to hear the input from residents in the community. The public members will offer special expertise, experience, and/or a dedication and commitment to the items under discussion.
“Council’s decision-making will benefit from the special expertise and/or experience to fully understand the impact on the community,” she said.
For the Agricultural Advisory Committee the Municipality is looking for farmers, in addition to general members of the public, who will provide input from people who understand farming in East Hants, which is an essential part of our economy, said MacArthur.
The committees are very vital to MEH as they help shape the future of the community.
“The Planning Advisory Committee reviews development proposals; creates the framework for new development; protects important resources such as heritage and farmland; and works towards making sure new development occurs sustainably,” said MacArthur. “Farming and agricultural land is a vital resource in East Hants and to recognize this an Agricultural Advisory Committee was formed.
“The Nova Scotia Accessibility Act is targeting an Accessible Nova Scotia by 2030 and the municipality has an important part to play in working towards this goal. This committee will provide input to Council, including preparing an Accessibility Plan.”
If you’re interested in one of these committees or wish more information, check out the following link: https://www.easthants.ca/government/municipal-departments/planning-development/public-committee-member-opportunities/ or by e-mailing email@example.com
The deadline to apply is Sunday, December 6. Residents wishing to apply can do so by downloading the form from the municipal website or copies are available at the Municipal Office at 15 Commerce Court, Elmsdale.