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Panel discussion designed to inform Guelph residents on local government

Friday, October 14, 2011

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  • Panel discussion and tour to show Guelph residents how to engage City Hall

    Panel discussion and tour to show Guelph residents how to engage City Hall

The Guelph Civic League, in partnership with the University of Guelph Central Student Association and CFRU 93.3 FM’s “Beyond the Ballot Box”, has organized a unique event called "Guelph Civics 101 - Engaging Your City Hall". The event unfolds on Tuesday, October 18th, 7-9 pm, right at City Hall in downtown Guelph.

The focus of the event will be a panel discussion.

Representing City of Guelph staff will be Barbara Powell, General Manager, Community Engagement and Social Service Liaison.

Councillor Leanne Piper will represent the perspective of Guelph City Council.

Judy Martin, of Sierra Club and Guelph Urban Forest Friends, will give her perspective on how citizens and citizen groups can engage City Hall.

Tim Mau from the University of Guelph's Political Science Department will be moderating.

In addition, a short tour of the Guelph City Hall council chambers will follow the meeting.

Dave Sills, GCL Communications Coordinator, says this type of event has never been attempted before in Guelph, but some other communities such as Toronto have had similar initiatives. “This is a great opportunity to better understand how your local government works, and how Guelph citizens can influence decisions at City Hall”, says Sills.

Panellist Bios

Barb Powell is the General Manager of Community Engagement for the City of Guelph. She has 16+ years of experience in local government working directly with residents, service providers and academics. Barb is a resident of Guelph and joined the City of Guelph in 2009.  During this past year her work has focused on Community Engagement - connecting and building partnerships with citizens, service providers, volunteers and other levels of government.  Barb has a keen interest in working with residents in new and different ways to create a vibrant, inclusive community in Guelph.

Leanne Piper's introduction to "politics" came at the grassroots level, where she participated in neighbourhood associations, school councils, and local community organizations and was a founding board member of the Guelph Civic League.  First elected to office as a school board trustee in 2003, and then to City Council in 2006, Leanne is a strong advocate for participatory democracy and a strong public voice at City Hall.

Judy Martin is the Guelph Regional Representative of Sierra Club Canada.  Over the past 25 years she has served on Sierra Club boards and committees as a volunteer and as paid staff.  She has an extensive background in environmental policy analysis and advocacy, which includes 12 years as the legislative director for the Minnesota Sierra Club.  She was formerly the Secretary-Treasurer of the Guelph Civic League, serves on her neighbourhood association board, the board of Pollination Guelph, and the steering committee for Guelph Urban Forest Friends. 

Moderator Bio

Tim Mau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph, where he teaches courses on Business-Government Relations, Local Government and Public Management and Administration for the B.Comm. in Public Management and graduate level courses for the Guelph-McMaster Collaborative M.A. in Public Policy and Administration. He also teaches a course on the Politics of Organizations for the collaborative M.A. (Leadership) program. Tim has twice been named as one of the University of Guelph’s Popular Professors by the annual Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities. Dr. Mau completed his D.Phil. at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, where he was a Commonwealth and SSHRC scholar, an MA in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Guelph (joint program with McMaster University) and a BA from the University of Guelph.

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