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Maieron seeks economic development information

by Mike Robinson

ERIN - Mayor Lou Maieron wants to know more about what his community does to promote economic development.

The matter came to council recently as a result of an email he had sent to councillors.

“Given the discussions we’ve had regarding [tourism regions] RT04 and RT06 and the Hills of the Headwaters,” he said perhaps as a new mayor, not knowing everything or what the town does for economic development, it might be prudent to ask for a report.

“I tried to do that, and was told that only council can ask for a report. I’d like to have a background understanding of what we do in economic development and how we promote stuff.”

He cited Wellington County’s economic development moves. Town manager Lisa Hass attends its meetings. On Dec. 9, it created an economic development committee.

Maieron said there are issues of making Wellington County more well known. He cited a recent meeting of local mayors with Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott, whose focus was to promote and expand economic development in the riding.

“He’d like to have, perhaps, quarterly meetings with all the mayors to consider making Wellington- Halton Hills more viable economically, and to create more opportunities.”

Maieron hopes the report will consider what is being done and see if it could be improved. The original resolution at council requested a report on the history of Erin’s involvement in Hills of the Headwaters and economic development.

Hass said she anticipated much of the information would be based on previous correspondence.

Councillor John  Brennan said it seems staff is being asked to provide the impossible.

Maieron said he was asking staff to provide an overall picture for economic development.

“Is it just our participation in Hills of the Headwaters?” he asked.

Councillor Barb Tocher commented, “But Mr. Mayor, you are aware we have an economic development committee. Hills of Headwaters is strictly tourism. It is a component of economic development, not economic development alone.”

She added it provides a statistical review every year, of which staff could provide copies.

Tocher said once the mayor reviews those documents, he might have a better understanding of what Hills of the Headwaters does.

Maieron understood Erin has an economic development committee, and he would like to know about its achievements. He included efforts of the Hillsburgh committee.

“We should have something to promote the whole town.”

He cited a recent query from a television production company wanting to do a five-minute promotional video of Erin that would be broadcast throughout the United States.

Maieron said he hoped to be able to take an overall approach rather than dealing with smaller pockets.

“Perhaps the little pockets are enough to do the job ... but I’d like to see the whole big picture.”

For clarification, Tocher asked if staff was being asked to report on all economic development pockets or just Hills of Headwaters.

“All of them,” Maieron said.

He said he used Hills of Headwaters as an example to see if it works for all or a specific portion of the town.

Of the group, Tocher said “They said very clearly the last time they were here, that they work for all of the town.”

Councillor John Brennan suggested the information from Hills of Headwater and a report from the economic development committee would get the information the mayor is looking for.

“I think it is important that we strive to do our best in economic development.”

He later added his hope was to find out what is being spent and what is being achieved.

 

December 23, 2011

 
 

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