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M.D. council given update on SouthGrow initiative

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Vauxhall Advance

By Cole Parkinson
Vauxhall Advance

SouthGrow Regional Initiative board is undergoing a few changes as they continue to expand.
The Municipal District of Taber has been influential with the organization since the start of SouthGrow and was given an update as to what changes are coming down the pipe.

“I’ve been on the South Grow organization since 2009, I was appointed by (M.D.) council. Since then, we have become a very vibrant, financially healthy, non-profit organization that encompasses 24 communities and we are together with economic growth and development and strategic collaboration,” said Carol Zelenka, representative at large for South Grow.

One of the biggest adjustments they were hoping to get M.D. backing on was cutting down their executive board size.

Boasting a 10-person board at the time, the board has been busy over the past several years.

“Currently, we have a 10-member executive board that meets monthly. I’m on the management board myself, and have been for a number of years. We decide the direction of SouthGrow and we help instigate it with our manger executing our wishes,” continued Zelenka.

With hopes of cutting the board size in half to five, they also hope to do more meetings per year.

Right now, they only host one annual general meeting, but they want to increase that number to quarterly meetings.

“We felt that we need to engage communities more, one on one. What we are looking at doing is quarterly meetings with all the members. Each of the 24 community members would have two reps, one from council and one from the community at large. They will have a vote at these four quarterly meetings and will be deciding what the direction of SouthGrow is,” added Zelenka.

Council questioned whether or not Zelenka would put forward her name for the five person council, but Zelenka stated that she had no intentions of doing so.

Seeking more vacation time with her husband, she informed council that she will be transitioning out of the work with SouthGrow.

“I would not put my name forward for the fiver person executive committee. Our circumstances have changed, with me and my husband, we are retired now and we’d like to do some more travelling. I don’t feel I could do the best job as an executive. If I let my name stand and won the election, I would have to quit in a few months anyways and I don’t feel that is fair to the people coming on,” said Zelenka. “I think the organization is in good hands.”

Council unanimously approved to support the changes put forward by South Grow.

Reeve Brian Brewin also gave thanks for the years of service Zelenka had provided.
“We certainly appreciate the work you have put into this. You’ve been a leader with this all the way along.”

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