Oxford County Council accepted a recommendation Wednesday evening to appoint 15 community members, including Tillsonburg's David Gilvesy, to a steering committee that will spearhead the development of Oxford’s first Community Sustainability Plan.
The Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee appointments follow a county-wide recruitment drive in May seeking citizens with knowledge or experience in social issues, culture, health and wellness, environmental issues, seniors' issues, youth issues, business and finance, rural issues, urban development, or other factors that help shape a secure future.
“Last year, (Oxford) County Council made a commitment, through its Strategic Plan, to view decisions through social, financial and environmental sustainability lenses," said Oxford County Warden Don McKay in a media release. "At the same time, we recognize the interdependencies of this work, and that having a grassroots, community-based approach is the best way to move forward in planning for quality of life and future well-being. We look forward to hearing what our communities have to tell us about their priorities for the future.”
After a review of the applications, the Community Sustainability Plan Ad Hoc Committee selected the following people to represent Oxford’s communities and interests with respect to human, economic and natural resources:
David Gilvesy, Tillsonburg
George Klosler, South-West Oxford
Jay Heaman, South-West Oxford
Bryan Smith, South-West Oxford
Ian Heikoop, Norwich
Joan Morris, Norwich
Marilyn Price, Blanford-Blenheim
Jason Smith, Ingersoll
Cher Sprague, Zorra
Nicole Langlois, Zorra & Ingersoll
Ian Stevens, Woodstock
Jurgen van Dijken, Woodstock
Chris Friesen, Woodstock
Jeff Surridge, Woodstock
Dave Steenburg, Woodstock
County Council approved funding on March 26 for an external resource to expedite work on the Community Sustainability Plan, which will also be supported by staff from each of Oxford’s area municipalities
The proposal for a Community Sustainability Plan was accepted as a means of developing a policy platform from which the County and area municipalities can influence decisions on issues including new landfill development, source water protection, caring for an aging population, waste management and other concerns. The study is expected for release in July 2015, although some parts of the plan may be released earlier.
Members of the Ad Hoc Committee included Warden Don McKay and Deputy Warden Margaret Lupton; County Councillors Ted Comiskey, Marion Wearn and Pat Sobeski; and local area municipal Councillors Mel Getty (Tillsonburg), Pat Lee (Norwich) and Ron Sackrider (South-West Oxford).
The key role of the Steering Committee will be to advise council on the development of the Community Sustainability Plan, including a decision-making tool that can be used to assist or guide councils, business groups, service organizations and other interested stakeholders in their planning work.
The council report on the Community Sustainability Plan Steering Committee appointments were tabled as a closed session report, and then released to the public on council approval.