Lecture series: ‘Beyond politics: How government works’

Learning In Almonte and Almonte Lectures are pleased to announce a new evening course that will be a primer on local government. Whether you are a regular council meetings attendee, considering running for office, or simply a taxpayer who wants to know where the buck stops, this course is for you!

Five lectures beginning Wednesday, Sept. 18th will focus on diverse topics pertaining to municipal affairs.  The series will feature Diane Smithson, CAO in Carleton Place, and Cindy Halcrow,  Clerk Administrator, the Township of Drummond/North Elmsley, speaking on “who does what”, the responsibilities of various levels of government from provincial to county and municipality, and how those services are delivered. Forbes Symon, Director of Development and Protective Services in Perth, will discuss the process of town planning, the formulation and implementation of developments. Mr. Symon will also present a lecture on the roles of councillors, staff, committees and consultants, where they meld, and where they diverge. Trisa McConkey, Treasurer for Carleton Place, will discuss financial planning, and budgets, how they are set and monitored.

Finally, there will be a panel discussion by a small group of councillors, past and present, on the effect that this position has on them personally.  This will be a moderated discussion: the choice to run for office, the importance of a policy statement, the monetary cost, the toll it takes on family, and the aftereffects of winning and losing an election.

This course has been months in the making, and the organizers are confident it will increase the public’s knowledge of the municipal procedure.  This course will steer away from politics entirely, providing the opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes away from the media coverage and council table.

The five lectures will take place on consecutive Wednesday evenings, Sept. 18 to Oct. 16. 7 pm. -9 p.m. at the Almonte Public library. Registration is limited to a first come first served basis, with registration being $65.00, payable in cheque or cash at the first lecture. To register, please contact: cmapsimon@gmail.com

For more information on this course or other Learning in Almonte courses, please visit the website at www.learninginalmonte.com