Well Dartmouth, it was a busy night at the Findlay Community Centre as District 5’s first participatory budget became reality. Turnout was more than I was expecting. We had 640 people cast ballots. At one point the line to register and get a ballot was out the door and down Elliott Street. Luckly that was just the initial rush and by 7:00 things were moving smoothly.
I feel the evening was a great success in providing residents with the chance to have a direct say in how District 5’s funds are spent. We did more than just award money though. Together we did some community building. Several of the 19 groups in attendance remarked that they had made new contacts and several residents shared with me that they learned about non-profit groups that they didn’t know existed. The kids also seemed to enjoy getting the chance to have a direct say. They’re a demographic that is key to our future, but they’re not always engaged in decision-making. I’m very pleased with how it all went and fully expect to do it again next year. Might need a bigger venue though!
Thank you to everyone who participated, to the City Hall staff who worked a very long day to make it happen, and to the folks at the Findlay Centre who were very understanding about the big crowd. Without further adieu, here’s how Dartmouth voted to award $50,000:
- Banook Canoe Club $10,000
- Back to Our Roots Farm $2,595
- MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning $8,914.80
- Bicentennial Home and School $10,000
- Senobe Aquatic Club $10,000
- Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club $8,491