At the regular meeting of Yorkton Council Monday, with little fanfare, but unanimous consent, appointments to Council committees for 2020 were approved.
For most of the year the various committees of Council go about their business on behalf of the citizens of Yorkton in relative obscurity. They meet, review material which falls under their purview, then make recommendations which flow to Council where it can be accepted, adjusted, or outright rejected, depending on the wishes of our elected representatives.
While the meeting schedules of the various committees are not such to be onerous on those appointed, it is also a largely thankless job.
But that does not mean it is not a role of some importance.
Yes, the citizens of the city elect a mayor and six councillors to ultimately make decisions regarding everything from tax increases to the fate of potholes, but as varied as the decisions they must make, none can have the expertise in everything.
That is where the committees of Council come in. They bring together a wider group of individuals, usually with a deeper interest in the topic their committee focuses on; Community Development Parks and Recreation, Economic Development Committee, and the Protective Services Committee as examples.
With a specific interest Council hopes to gain insights they themselves may not have on issues related to the committees in question. It is essentially gaining more information on issues from the collective insights and experiences of good people in our community. The more varied the discussion around an issue, the broader the base of information gathered, the better the decision Council can ultimately make on our behalf.
The members of the committee also form something of a conduit of information from others in the city to Council.
While one of the biggest strengths of municipal politics is the availability of our elected representatives, they live and work in the community where voters can find them to talk issues easily, not everyone wants to talk directly with those at the levers of government.
Committee members are out in the community where part of their job is to simply listen. Sit at a restaurant, or wander at intermission at a hockey game, or sit in the grandstand at the summer fair and you will hear what issues people are feeling are important locally. You are also likely to hear what solutions people favour.
Ultimately, those who are willing to sit on committees of Council deserve a pat on the back for the work they do on behalf of the community.