Well, this post may come as a surprise to you and certainly it was a post that I did not think I would have to write so soon… but alas an appropriate time has come.
It was a little over two years ago, in the end of 2016 that this author and a few other residents met up over breakfast to discuss the path of development in the Town and issues we felt surrounded the now-previous Council.
Out of subsequent discussion from that meeting, came the idea for “Grimsby Citizens For Responsible Growth” (GCFRG) and the mission to get the message out to residents what was really happening at Town Hall. The ultimate goal was to get back to a more sensible approach to growth in our town.
Over the past two years, along with another resident, we both took notes of the meetings, wrote up our posts and brought forth important issues about the Town and the Region to our fellow residents via the website and our Facebook page.
Now residents may not have always agreed with what was posted, but the fact that we could have a dialogue amongst residents in the Town about matters that would otherwise have disappeared in the Town’s meeting minutes, was a victory for everyone.
The October 2018 Municipal Election represented a chance for residents to make changes to our Town Council. To be quite frank, we did expect some change but not nearly the clean sweep of Council that the residents delivered. Residents voted loud and clear for the much-needed change they wanted in Town Council and its direction.
As a result of that election, one of the major forces behind GCFRG, Dorothy Bothwell was elected as a Councillor in Ward 4. While GCFRG may have lost a major contributor, the residents and Council gained a vocal representative who is responsive, dedicated and is not afraid to approach issues head-on, especially on matters of planning and development.
With our new Council already working at getting live-streaming and recording of meetings at Town Hall online, we are now entering a new era of communication between Council and residents. Many of us are looking forward to that and the bringing forth of answers on topics, once unapproachable and left unanswered by the previous Council.
The new Council also has its work cut out for them to reform and shape-up the other half of Town Hall, the administrative side. While generally in good shape, there is still some fixing to be done due to the lack of care and laissez-faire attitude of the previous Council leadership. The decisions and requests of our new Council and those of our fellow residents need to be carried out in the correct and fulsome manner. It may take time, but it seems this Council is determined to ensure correct protocol and processes are in place on both sides of Town Hall.
It has been a “labour of love” bringing forth the issues and news that related to Grimsby. While we never took count of the hours that were put in between the two of us, it has to number in the hundreds if not thousands. While some of the 300+ posts that were put up took little effort to write, some of the articles requiring in-depth research could take upwards of 8-10 hours to author.
Needless to say, it has been a long and tiring, but worthwhile journey. And as with all travels, even those of a literary nature, there comes a time where one must stop, hang up your hat and just take in the scenery.
Essentially, GCFRG has fulfilled its mandate and it’s now the turn of our new Council and it’s members to be the voice for residents. GCFRG may be going away, but it will never be gone. Please keep us “liked” in the event the presses need to be fired up again.
Please stay engaged, read up on what is happening through the Town’s website, their Facebook page, Dorothy’s Facebook page and through the agendas and minutes of Town Council and its committees. If you do not already already follow Mike Williscraft and NewsNow, I would encourage you to do so. Mike has been looking out for the best interests of the Town, long before GCFRG existed and with an unparalleled journalistic passion for the truth.
It is clear that our new Council wants to hear from you now and not simply at the ballot box. If you have an issue that needs addressed, no matter how large or small, I encourage you to pick up the telephone or e-mail them.
While GCFRG essentially only comprised of two people and some close supporters, it was the “Grimsby Citizens” meaning you and everyone else who took the time to read our posts that made up a larger collective. And we thank you for reading, commenting and getting engaged about matters in the community.
In closing, I will leave you with a quote that Councillor Bothwell introduced me to and I believe fits very well…
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
With many thanks and until we meet again,
Adam & on behalf of, Dorothy