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and strategizing. Analyzing a community’s governance path is already analyzing the intents and impacts of past strategy, and is a useful first step in devising your own strategy.

Actors and leadership As mentioned, “actors” are not always easily recognized. Thinking about actors, visible and invisible, in the history of the community can be a careful and tiring tracing of lines of influence. Stories about governance are always changing, as any subsequent set of actors never remembers the previous ones, or does so only in images distorted by current considerations. Retracing history and uncovering the stories of halfforgotten or misrepresented actors can be imperative to understanding the actual evolution of governance, the actual influences on important decisions, the positives and negatives of old situations, and whether certain tools and strategies worked or not. • The introduction of new actors can increase local autonomy and agency; however, each community must decide for itself whether new actors would be helpful within their unique context and goals. An economic development authority at the local level, operating at arm’s length from local government, can be helpful in raising money for local initiatives, to operate faster and with more flexibility than government could to attract investors. It can afford to avoid taking sides in local politics. Such an authority can become an actor in its own right in community development, and can potentially follow the orders of politics more quickly and easily and annoy council less than traditional government administration. Whether or not this is a good thing is the question. Having sitting civil servants maintain responsibility over all governance tasks, including economic development, could be presented as the cheaper option, and perhaps more in line with public good. Yet, local politics are rarely stable for a long time, and economic development should not be tied to one party or clique. One can further argue that the presence of different perspectives and vigorous debate about them, as can be found in a healthy economic development authority, can improve the quality of self-analysis and visioning in a community. Revelstoke, BC worked hard to get its own autonomous economic development unit, while Terrace, BC, has only recently, in 2015, gotten rid of theirs. • A company town can present itself as utopia, with a benevolent management taking care of all the needs of the workers. Yet, workers don’t necessarily always share this perspective. Years down the road, when reconstructing its governance path, a community cannot take

Part III: Boom/Bust:Moving forwards: Path and context mapping

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Profile for University of Alberta Extension

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

Boom & Bust: A Guide, Managing Ups and Downs in Communities  

Boom and Bust: A Guide is the result of a collective effort at the University of Alberta to better understand the dramatic ups and downs whi...

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