Ladysmith Ratepayers Association holding open house next Wednesday

A new group has formed with a mandate of keeping taxpayers informed on important topics for discussion in the community.

The Ladysmith Ratepayers Association is a non-profit and non-partisan society that believes the public has a role to play in everything from assuring the protection of the local environment and the watershed to supporting sustainable development and growth.

The current executive is comprised of president Vicky Stickwood-Hislop, vice-president Russ Barling, secretary and treasurer Eva Vincent, as well as members at large John Vincent and Erik Piikkila.

Stickwood-Hislop is an avid walker and said she frequently hears from people on topics but that the correct information has often been lost as it’s disseminated.

“If there’s an issue or information that they’re just not understanding. It’s to say to them this is the one place we can go and work together,” she said, explaining the LRA’s role.

“And ensuring that what we’re giving out is correct and continues to be told correctly by having it posted on a place where people can read it.”

Founders of the LRA were brought together in part as a result of a petition to do with the Waterfront Area Plan.

Stickwood-Hislop said it will be the membership that drives which issues are explored further by the society.

“I see us as a conduit. I don’t see us as a barrier. I don’t see us as being against council or the city or anything else,” she said,

The LRA has already written posts on its website to do with both recent referendum questions on affordable housing and a watershed plan.

Another post also from during the election campaign addresses Ladysmith’s performance in the annual Fraser Institute school rankings.

The LRA is hosting an informal open house on Dec. 12 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the FJCC lower room.

They will be looking for input on issues the community feels strongly about and have a sign up sheet for those wishing to add to a list of topics or sit on a subcommittee.

“We can only be as strong as people that are behind us,” said Stickwood-Hislop.“That’s what I’m hoping, is that people will say ‘this is something I am interested in’ and take the opportunity to make it something that will help the community.”

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