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Local MLA Dan Williams kicked off a series of planned community meetings with a stop in High Level.
Williams was in Council Chambers at the Town office on Monday to meet with local residents and elected officials to discuss issues and concerns.
This is the first of a number of community meetings planned by the MLA across the constituency.
“I know many of my constituents are folks that want to have direct contact with their elected official,” said Williams.
Williams also met with Mayor Crystal McAteer and CAO Clark McAskile.
McAteer said the opportunity to meet with elected officials at other levels of government is an important one.
“I would rather meet face-to-face,” she said, noting in-person discussions have a clarity that is not always present in messaging through letters, email, or other formats.
She said pressing issues for local residents are largely “in house” – meaning they are local in nature. However, the Town is looking to address infrastructure needs which will have to be addressed by the Provincial government.
“Right now, the most pressing issue is to have an audit of the fire,” she said. “What went right, what went wrong, and those sorts of things.”
“I think it’s very important that we do this.”
The meeting underscores the importance of good relationships and communication between municipal governments and the provincial government.
“Municipalities are legal creations of the province,” said Williams. “As such, we have a really close relationship. So much of the funding; so much of the different responsibilities we have provincially relate to municipalities.”
“I’m really excited to come back and continue to keep this relationship going that I have with the town,” he added.
He said his plan is to hold these meetings on a regular basis across the constituency in order to give local residents a chance to discuss their concerns.
“So far, it’s been very successful,” he said. “I’m hearing a lot of people’s interests, I’m hearing the problems they are having, I’m hearing the ways we can improve – especially after the wildfire. I saw so much of the community come together, but there is also room for us to try and do better.”
“I think it’s important that (local residents) have a chance to speak to their MLA,” added McAteer. “I commend Dan for doing this for his constituents because it didn’t happen under the last government. We never really knew when our MLA was in our area. I greatly appreciate that Dan has put himself out there to meet with the people and listen to their concerns.”
“My job is to serve the community and the constituents,” said Williams. “The folks in High Level and surrounding area have a right to tell me how they think we can do better.”