Nelson council axes official proclamations

TOP: Mayor John Dooley delivers a proclamation for
TOP: Mayor John Dooley delivers a proclamation for 'Safe Digging Month' to a worksite on Robson Street last April. BOTTOM LEFT: Dooley signs the proclamation for Daffodil Day on April 27. BOTTOM RIGHT: Dooley signs the proclamation to make October 7 to 13 Homelessness Action Week in Nelson.
— image credit: File photos

Nelson council will no longer issue official proclamations to recognize community events.

"It means I won't be getting my picture in the newspaper as often," joked Mayor Dooley at the December 3 council meeting where the policy change was unanimously supported.

Numerous community groups request proclamations every year to give additional publicity to their events. But as councillor Donna Macdonald pointed out, there are now many more effective ways to get the message out.

"The proclamations have become less relevant and they take staff time away from other, more important, work," Macdonald said.

Back in the 90s — before social networking sites existed — newspaper photographers would regularly attend proclamation signings and the photos would go in the paper to remind readers of an event coming up. This rarely happens anymore.

These days event promoters have more ways than ever to reach their audience.

"They don't need us to do the promoting for them," Dooley said. "Many other municipalities have already stopped signing proclamations, and we're actually behind the curve on this."

The City will continue to accept requests from community groups that want to hang banners over Baker Street to promote events. Those requests are handled by city staff and don't come across the council table. Applicants pay a fee to cover the administrative cost and for fire fighter's time to have their banners hung.

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