Joint council searching for ways to increase involvement
Economic development is the primary focus of the Great Northern Peninsula Joint Council, but it is hard to make things happen if there are not enough people at the table.
The last meeting before a summer hiatus was scheduled in Anchor Point Tuesday evening. It did not go ahead because not enough council representatives attended to make a quorum.
Of the about 60 communities along the Northern Peninsula — the joint council represents River of Ponds north — only 14 are incorporated municipalities, according to joint council chair Gerry Gros. For the past year or so, Port au Choix, River of Ponds, and Main Brook decided against affiliation with the joint council. That has left nine or 10 with a keen interest.
Gros said they expected to have at least the five required to hold the meeting Tuesday. Two people didn’t show, so it turned into a general discussion.
Attendance has been an ongoing problem, he said, something they plan to address before or in early September when things resume.
“It’s about trying to find a day and time that is suitable for most people,” he said.
The mayor of Anchor Point said some of the council representatives are fishermen with busy schedules, so it is understandably hard to find times for meetings.
The mayor of St. Anthony attended the council meeting in his town the same evening, but attends most joint council meetings.
The potential benefits are worth the continued effort, Gros believes.
Issues such as economic de- velopment are key to the region, and he believes a collaborative approach is required to generate the most interest and make the greatest impact.
Regionalization has been on the council agenda for years. The mayor says that is something the entire peninsula needs to commit to, not just the incorporated municipalities.
“We want recreational facilities and stuff like that, and our municipalities are hard pressed cash-wise to take any of that on,” he said. “If we had everybody on board, we could do more things.”