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Village Vision News

A new beginning

Thursday, May 12, 2011

“This is kind of a new world for us for a while,” said Village Administrator Heather Kimmons in explaining how an April 18 Board decision to disband most of Forsyth’s volunteer citizen advisory committees has led to new opportunities and new challenges for the Village. The sweeping changes have led to some questions as Board members and staff work through what’s needed to ensure citizen input and a streamlined process for taking action.

For example, at the May 2 Board meeting, Mayor Hap Gilbert asked the Board how to proceed with adding members to his ad hoc volunteer committee to assist with the Futures golf tournament and Farm Progress Show, a function previously served by the now-disbanded Economic Development Committee. The Board laid down some guidelines and approved a motion to indicate that the mayor was authorized to add committee members without Board approval.

Gilbert’s committee is only one of a few remaining advisory groups made up of volunteers. Some of those are in need of members, including the ad hoc Activities & Events Committee, the Zoning Board and the Plan Commission. “We might be able to combine those last two if the Board approved it,” Kimmons said. “By statute, we’re permitted to have a Plan Commission or Zoning Board or both. At some point [the Village] opted to have both.” The Library Committee and Tree Board also continue to meet. Residents with ideas for citizen involvement are encouraged to comment on the Village website or call Village Hall. “We want to move swiftly,” Kimmons said. “I’d personally like to see quarterly town hall meetings.”

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