We have one. Five people sit on the local board. They meet monthly. Half of them get elected every two staggered years. Their principle job is to manage and make decisions on the ‘community’ land and buildings that we have including the community house, the workshop and the gymnasium. It’s not a big job but one of Murphy’s laws is that each job expands just beyond the time allotted for it so we get some ‘issues’ now and then.
Mostly the ‘issues’ we get arise from something other than the buildings and they can be anything. If the local grant application for whatever needs support, our board may be the official community voice for our collective sentiment on the matter. If someone wants to take the initiative on anything from a local business to a political stand or even apply for a grant, they would first try to get board blessing….that sort of thing.
The primary function of the board at the political level is that the regional district uses them as the ‘contact’ entity whenever the larger government presence wants to get our attention.
And they fundraise. But they don’t do it actively. It is passive fundraising. They are always fundraising because they always need the funds. Even a roof repair on an old building needs new materials and so there is a constant hand out and there is a constant dribble in. But they rarely ask for anything. People just give a little now and then. We sell our book at the local post office and the proceeds (after printing costs) go to the board. That sort of thing. And several people do that kind of thing in different ways. Plus we have a membership fee. Plus you can subscribe to the community newsletter. I have no real idea but I am guessing that the board raises in the neighbourhood of $1000 a year (not counting the odd grant) and that seems to keep us in nails and glue. It’s a good system. Mostly.
Big projects are harder to do for a society that operates with a gross annual income of $1000 and a gross annual expenditure of $999. The workshop renovation actually required applying for and getting a $11,000 grant (I think it was that much). We did all the work, the money only went for hard goods, materials and such. That job would have cost $50,000 in the city if it had been undertaken and we did it all for 22% of that.
I mention all this because this summer saw another small influx of new people join the larger community. Probably gained almost a dozen now in two years. And, at the last two annual elections, new people stepped up. So, the board will continue. New people will add to the synergy, the energy and likely add some good ideas as well. We will continue to prosper small and live tiny Green.
We had no Harpers to depose, no real electioneering went on, I doubt that anyone actually even spoke at the meeting – not to GET elected, anyway. They just put up their hands to volunteer and were likely voted in by acclimation. They won’t cheat or steal from the funds, make stupid moves to rattle sabers at the other islands, they will balance the budget such as it is. They will do their job. There will be no corporate pay-offs. No one will be charged with anything or have to resign. The RCMP won’t investigate or even taser and jump on any backs. And the community will continue to welcome newcomers with open arms.
Democracy OTG style.