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New committee structure proposed in Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores council is looking to take a new approach to its committee structure.

Council voted 8-1 to ask staff to come back with a full proposal for a community committee program to replace most of its previous standing and ad-hoc committees.

Mayor Luke Charbonneau said the idea is to hopefully draw in more volunteers to serve in more of a task-force style committee structure, with short term commitments, rather than the current two-year commitment for the traditional committee format.

“Mostly to bring more people into the [committee] process, and to make the experience more rewarding for those people in the process,” said Charbonneau. “We think people who want to volunteer now want to volunteer on a shorter-term basis and with a higher-return on the time invested.”

Staff would maintain a database of volunteers and draw from the pool as projects and issues come up, Charbonneau explained it would allow staff to match the volunteer to projects that fit experience and skill-sets.

Charbonneau said legislated committees, such as the committee of adjustment, as well as high profile committees like heritage and accessibility committees, are proposed to remain as-is.

Councillor Cheryl Grace was the lone councillor to vote in opposition to the new format, is a large part because the waterfront committee would not continue in its previous format.

“I feel strongly that the waterfront committee should be maintained as a standing committee, even if it meets fewer times than it has in the past,” said Grace. “I think waterfront is such an important part of our community.”