South Georgian Bay Mayors Meet Quarterly to Increase Regional Collaboration

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Mayors and CEOs of six Southern Georgian Bay municipalities have met three times since they first met in late March

In an effort to address regional issues and improve service delivery, representatives from six communities in Southern Georgian Bay have started to communicate regularly.

“We have identified a number of issues – transportation being one of them,” said Blue Mountains City (TBM) Mayor Alar Soever. Province.”

The concept of a regional roundtable was proposed by the Mayor of Collingwood, Brian Saunderson, in early 2021 and quickly saw neighboring municipalities rallying to the idea.

The roundtable group was formed in late March and consists of the mayors and CEOs of Collingwood, Clearview, TBM, Gray Highlands, Meaford and Wasaga Beach.

The group has met three times with a fourth meeting scheduled for September in Collingwood.

On Tuesday afternoon, TBM CEO Shawn Everitt reported to TBM board members on the roundtable’s progress so far, as well as the group’s mandate.

“Overall, the information is in its infancy, but it’s progressing well,” Everitt said.

Through the terms of reference, the group has identified its objectives, which include:

  • Explore and share innovative approaches, best practices and opportunities
  • Identify cross-border / regional issues, opportunities, obstacles and interdependencies and establish ways to collaborate for the benefit of all
  • Investigate partnership opportunities
  • Monitor local, provincial and federal issues impacting the region and explore collaborative efforts to resolve these issues
  • Provide a semi-annual update to our respective councils on matters submitted to the forum any recommendations of mutual interest
  • Investigate grant / funding opportunities that could be undertaken jointly or individually in the common interest

The group is expected to meet quarterly “as long as it continues to be productive and beneficial to the parties involved”.

Each partner municipality will take turns hosting the meetings, with the host municipality chairing the meeting.

“We want to make sure all municipalities take the opportunity to host,” Everitt noted, adding that so far Collingwood has hosted two meetings and TBM has hosted one.

At present, all regional roundtable meetings are considered internal and are not open to the public.

Soever added that the roundtable forum is a vehicle for better collaboration and has no decision-making power or spending money.

“This is not a forum where we actually spend money. This is where we make recommendations, like any other advisory committee of the board. It can provide advice to each of the local city councils, and then spending decisions are made there, within each municipality, ”said Soever.


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