The City of Pickering becomes a school for its residents.
Pickering 101, 2018 edition
Pickering 101 was a series of evening presentations, most conveniently held at the City Hall/Esplanade and the Pickering Public Library. The purpose of the presentations was to educate participants about various aspects of municipal government in Pickering as presented and explained by actual city staff, including the Mayor himself.
The series covered a broad range of topics:
- Comparison of Local vs Regional governments
- Animal services
- Community services department and public works
- Fire Department
- Pickering Public Library
- Pickering Museum Village
- City’s future
Presentations and presenters
Mayor Ryan set the tone for the presentations with a very personable and affable town hall. The Mayor explained the scope of his responsibilities and his role as head of the municipal government. He concluded his night’s presentation answering the many questions asked by the participants. The subsequent nights’ presenters were terrific follow-ups to the mayor, with only one or two demonstrating that more practice and polish would have improved their talk.
At risk of singling out any one speaker as being a disservice to the other sincere and diligent presenters, the young woman who spoke about pet regulations in the city was very enlightening. Of course, we are biased as our Scottish terrier, Fermo is a client of the city’s pet licensing and tagging system. This presenter reinforced the atmosphere created by each of the other presenters that though they were city employees, they were also Pickering residents and acted as if they were neighbors of the attending participants, which they probably were.
It goes without saying that the FIREHALL was the most warmly received presentation (I couldn’t resist). Each of the firefighters described their work with enthusiastic clarity giving one the feeling of professionals who care about their work. These firefighters instilled a feeling of neighborliness balanced by a spirit of professionalism and dedication. Then to top off the final presentation, a buffet prepared by the firefighters themselves.
The ‘barn burner ending’ to the series was an entertaining show by volunteers from the Pickering Museum Village. Costumes and period dance demonstrations were followed by an invitation to all the participants to join in…and they did. Then, the icing on the cake, certificates to each of the Pickering 101 graduates, distributed personally by Mayor Ryan and his fellow councillors.
An encore, 2019 edition
The City plans to repeat the series of presentations in 2019. Residents of Pickering should mark their calendars accordingly once the presentations are scheduled and published. It is a series of nights where local residents will be positively surprised and richly rewarded by what they learn each night.
For more information, confer with the City website at PICKERING 101
The firefighters’ presentation had very valuable advice about home safety and security and it concluded with questions by the attending participants. Perhaps this year, the Durham police might be invited to participate in this Pickering 101 series.