A Community Association for Merrickville?

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There has been some talk recently about the lack of a Community Association in Merrickville, a group that could be a focus for different projects outside of the mandate of Council, etc. In Merrickville there is the Chamber of Commerce, MAG, and the Historical Society, all of which serve niches (special interest groups) in the community. What is missing is a community association that represents a united voice of the community and who can engage with the local council and all other groups on behalf of its citizens.

I hear complaints about what council is doing, or not doing, and that there is at least one development project that could potentially affect Merrickville (and surrounding communities) in a variety of ways. “How come”, they ask, “there’s no person or group championing a significant upgrade to the Merrickville Community Centre? It is – to say the least – a complete dump, and inflexible in terms of customizing the space for a variety of users”.

However, the building is extremely valuable and appropriate, because it is a COMMUNITY asset and not a private interest. There is a plethora of grants available for this kind of project, projects whose gains benefit everyone and not just special interest groups. This would seem to be an excellent project for a Community Association to take on, rather than Council (Council can’t, and shouldn’t, try to do everything). It would be generally easy to get buy-in from many, and the community would end up with an asset supported by the broadest community members and community groups possible.

There is a belief that, in small communities, community projects must trump private projects (especially ones that masquerade as public projects) for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the will is not there to start up another new group, another drain on a community’s limited resources in terms of personnel, energy and time. It is an aspect of our society these days that causes a great deal of worry among older service clubs and community groups: younger people, perhaps young married couples, don’t seem interested in getting involved in their community.

Given that they very often have to spend long times commuting to and from work, and then need family and private time, it is no wonder that there is little left over at the end of a working day to give to community involvement. But what happens in the longer term to neighbourhoods that are reduced to being just bedroom communities? Who will run the Guides and Scouts? Who will take over the reins at Lions Clubs, Rotary, Kinsmen, etc.?
Is it time to rethink all of this and see if there is a different model of community we can develop that will replace the traditional clubs and organisations when they can no longer find enough new members to replace the old guard?

It is said that without a vision the people perish. Where is the new vision for community, and who will step forward to lead the way?

8 COMMENTS

  1. A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION FOR MERRICKVILLE?
    By NG Times -January 17, 2018

    This piece is unattributed, but the author refers to self as I.
    A contribution such as this should have a byline beyond by NG Times.
    This is sloppy, irresponsible journalism, in my entirely biased opinion.

  2. Who wrote this piece of fluff and is afraid to put there name on it. I agree with Michael Whittaker that this is sloppy journalism which only causes angst with no good outcome for our community. If the NG Times is going to post this kind irresponsible (fake) media then they are not worthy of calling themselves a responsible and reliable news source.

  3. This was submitted by a well known person from Merrickville who did not want to be named, but only to open the door to conversation. Our editor who sent it to us, is out of the country but will respond tomorrow to your comments.

  4. Honestly people, chill out! Someone wanted to start a conversation, and they succeeded rather well. Terry, I would appreciate some footnotes on your part: which were incorrectly reported, in your (humble) opinion? Michael and Chuck, if you are so disenchanted with the Times, perhaps you should start a paper yourself, and take whatever abuse people want to send your way. Your response also explains why some people do not want their names printed in connection with their articles. David Shanahan.

  5. In my opinion David, this article is not an “opening the door to conversation” which would require an interactive dialog between two or more people. This article smacks of Hit-and-Run journalism which is a term used by press critics to label journalistic stories that seem to reveal disparaging information about something or someone but that contain little context or background that might make for a deeper understanding of the information. It is not good journalism, and most serious news organizations take care to avoid doing it.

  6. I am not sure what about the article contains “disparaging information about something or someone”. I honestly don’t understand the response to what seemed to me to be a fairly straightforward suggestion that a Community Association would be a good idea.

  7. Calling the Community Centre a “dump” is completely inappropriate. It may and probably does need some upgrades. What old buildings don’t? I grew up in Merrickville and that COMMUNITY CENTRE is and was just that ! We spent many many hours there at all kinds of different events. It once was the place of one of the biggest fiddling and step dancing completions in all of Ontario. There have been snowflake festivals, countless dances , weddings, fish fries , auctions , Lions Club lobster dinners the list goes on and on. We ran our summer fun camps there and weekly badminton club. It is a part of Merrickville not a dump! We always felt lucky to have that facility when we were growing up there. It was the heart of the village. Who ever wrote this article I find it offensive. Merrickville my need a community association…hope you’re not part of it!

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