Thursday, January 28, 2016

Well Done Annapolis, Well Done.

Today I received the following letter from a woman named Jane Nicholson, in Annapolis Royal. She has been one of the kind people assuring me that my relentless efforts have had a positive effect on other parts of the province.  Jane has reached out to me a few times and it always makes my day.  She seems like a tireless worker for good.  Click here to see photos of her beautiful shop. I'll be shopping there next summer.

Here is Jane's letter to me:

Dear Anna….

Just read your latest blog post on zoning and municipal by-laws!  Thought you might like to know what is going on in Annapolis Royal in that regard.  For several months, Town Council has been working on the formation of a committee to investigate how to reduce "red tape" for its citizens and the business community.  It's called the Municipal Effectiveness Advisory Committee (MEAC for short) and it convened its first meeting last week.  MEAC comprises two members of Town Council and seven citizens and we expect to be working for quite a while as we are charged with reviewing our Land Use Bylaw, our Municipal Planning Strategy and any other related policies we may choose to look at. It's a great step forward for the Town and you can read more about it HERE.  I am on the committee as a representative of the Annapolis Board of Trade, and was appointed chair at last week's meeting.  We are all excited about moving forward.  We may be a 410 year old place, but we can see the future!

Have a great day, Anna

Mrs. Nicholson Inc.

Here is what I love about the actions taken by Annapolis Royal:

1-They are guiding their own destiny.  No need to wait for provincial clarification.  They seem to understand that planning is in their hands.   They are consulting with their community to create the future vision of their town.

2- They are not denying problems.  They have readily admitted to red tape which negatively affected businesses and people. They have taken responsibility and they are taking action.  A breath of fresh air.

3-They are being open yet clear.  They are encouraging people to come share their ideas and views, but they are also helping them along with clear words like, threats, opportunities, values.......

4- They got creative.  Town Halls are not always the most inviting spaces to speak with the community, so they picked the library.  Super idea.  Libraries are focused, yet intimate and welcoming places to have meaningful discussions. 

5- If you follow the link, you will see that they have set very clear goals, such as, "to review and identify barriers to reduce overregulation, streamline procedures, and improve efficiencies"

6- Not only did they create a working group with 7 citizens, but they are encouraging all their citizens to be a part of the process.  That is what welcoming looks like.

I will be cheering this group on from my hat studio in Lunenburg.  They are leading the way for other towns in rural Nova Scotia to follow suit.

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