STRATFORD — Stratford Mayor David Dunphy has announced the establishment of a citizen reference panel to make recommendations to council on a buy local initiative.
“As part of our effort to build the best community possible, one of our goals is to develop a stronger local economy where more goods, services and meaningful employment are available locally,” said Dunphy during the recent regular town council meeting.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the businesses most beneficial to a community are those that are independent and locally owned.
The mayor said that over the past few decades, the buy local movement has been growing and gaining momentum in many small and large communities across Canada.
“We have identified 'buy local' as one of the initiatives that we will undertake to help achieve our goal of strengthening the local economy," he said.
“One of the tools that we have identified to increase engagement is a citizen reference panel which is, essentially, a group of 25 typical citizens and stakeholders who are given a task to complete.”
Dunphy explained the citizen reference panel looks at an issue in some depth and also engages other residents and stakeholders. The idea is that increased collaboration with residents and stakeholders will lead to better solutions.
Email invitations will soon be sent to residents and business owners to solicit volunteers for the citizen reference panel and 25 people will be selected ensuring an age and gender balance.
Residents who are interested in being considered for the Buy Local citizen reference panel can go to www.townofstratford.ca to submit their names.