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Community Forum a great place to engage in democracy

Facilities such as this should be packed with participants

Unlike some cities, the City of Castlegar doesn't issue proclamations; those announcements telling people that it's such-and-such week or month.

A resolution was passed stating, "… all proclamations received by the City of Castlegar will be received for information only.”

Apparently, it became a bit too onerous for council due to the increasing number of them.

But this shouldn't stop someone from speaking up during the question period portion of council meetings. What's on the agenda of your group or organization, or what is happening right in your neighbourhood, do you feel council should know about?

Question period is an opportunity for any resident to bring forward concerns, ideas or comments on whatever topic they wish; it's a valuable piece of the democratic process and one that also enables citizens to get on the public record in front of assembled media.

The prospect of public speaking is understandably nerve-wracking for some people but the Community Forum is a setting as open, respectful and un-intimidating as you're likely to find.

Four people spoke directly to councillors during question period at the last City of Castlegar council meeting. Some of the issues raised resulted in one-on-one conversations with city staff after the meeting and some were addressed to the apparent satisfaction of the speaker on the spot.

The Community Forum is a wonderful space. It's got good acoustics, lighting and fairly comfortable seating… and it has more room than council chambers of some much larger centres, such as the City of Kamloops.

Agenda's are easily accessible on the City of Castlegar website at: Just click the links under the "City Hall" tab.

The next City of Castlegar council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at the forum, located at 445 -13th Avenue.

Pack the place… it should be alive with conversation.