Services provided by local governments in British Columbia are many and varied and while the public could likely be expected to all agree upon what "core" and "typical" services should be, every community is different in the scope and nature of what it provides to its citizens. Local factors such as tradition, history, sentiment, geography, and climate can all influence and determine what services the people need, want, or accept in their community by their local government.
Some services may also be somewhat unique or particular to the community, a requirement of our status, or by higher levels of government. Some services are continuous through time while others may come and go, being short-term in nature or having accomplished a specific goal.
The Town of Golden categorizes services in 5 ways:
(a "core" service that absolutely must be provided at all times at a service level that satisfies basic human needs or the long-term sustainability of the town as a viable community);
(a service that the everyday values of the public, business community or other important stakeholders would lead them to expect so intuitively that they would be greatly surprised if they discovered it was not being provided);
(a service that some or a number of most comparable municipalities do provide and one which most informed stakeholders would support. Many extended services would be considered the ‘right things to do’ by those most qualified to judge the specific case, and may be enabled by special factors such as external funding or clear community benefit);
(a service that the municipality feels obligated to provide as a result of local public expectation or other reason, but based solely upon the benefits it provides versus the costs, could be seen as difficult to justify.
It is provided for other reasons though clearly not cost effective);
(a service currently being delivered that could either be discontinued or delivered by another organization. Certain factors may compel a local government to continue to deliver it otherwise).
Almost all services are administered by our town staff through the operation and maintenance of infrastructure or delivery of programs, although many also utilize the help of contracted services. Some services either under investigation, development or short-term delivery may be under the guidance of a Council Select Committee - a special "task force" of individuals under the direction of Council to undertake a particular initiative and report back to Council on progress or completion.