Big Valley Council Back to inserting newsletter in every resident mailbox

Big Valley village council reverted its community newsletter back to inserting it into every resident post office box. The decision was made at the May 13 regular meeting of council.

Councillors perused proposed changes to the Valley Whistle Newsletter Policy 02-2024, presented by Chief Administrative officer (CAO) Colleen Mayne.

Mayne noted the purpose of proposed changes was to amend the policy in question to include a copy of the Whistle newsletter to every Big Valley resident post office box as well as to continue distributing it to certain locations around the village plus making copies of the Whistle available for visitors at the train station.

The CAO noted the public seemed to want the newsletter back in their mailboxes.

“Several inquiries have been made asking if the Whistle could be distributed in every village post office box as had been done in the past,” stated Mayne’s report to council.

“Council briefly discussed the possibility positively during their previous meeting and the policy has been amended as such.”

Previously, Big Valley council voted in favour of making the community newsletter available only at “drop box” locations, essentially making residents responsible for tracking down a copy if they wanted to read it.

At the time councillors stated they were trying to reduce the financial burden the Whistle posed to the village.

The CAO noted inserting a copy of the Whistle in everyone’s mailbox would cost 25 cents per box per week; However, Mayne pointed out the Whistle does generate its own revenue through advertising.

The CAO pointed out during discussion that even if councillors approved going back to distributing in every mailbox, there would still be some Whistles left at certain dropbox locations.

She also noted that the draft operating budget councillors were also going to look at included this policy change in it.

Mayne noted not only advertising appears in the Whistle, but submissions as well. Guidelines for suitable content included community events and government material.

The CAO noted there had been an issue in the past when apparently an article or submission was sent into the village office for publication in the Whistle which turned out to be a personal attack from one person against another; she stated those kinds of articles aren’t published in the community newsletter.

Councillors unanimously approved changes to the Big Valley Whistle newsletter policy.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.