Councils four year term is up at the end of October and we are looking for interested candidates to fill the positions. I personally have decided not to run again. I have served 6 years on council and 4 as Mayor and it is time for someone else to step up. We have a few nomination forms submitted so far and will be calling an election, which is a very good thing. As of today we have two candidates running for Mayor and we have 2 running for council, existing members of Council have expressed interest in running again as well as a large number from the public although they have not yet formally stepped forward, we need 6 council members. Nominations close on Sept 21. If you have ever thought of running for office there is no time like the present. All submitted nomination forms are posted in the entrance of the town office. Please feel welcome to come down and see who has come forward to represent your community. Then make sure that on October 26 you let your voice be heard by voting.
Some people assume it is hard to get in. Not so. It is as simple as desire. Go to the Town office, ask for a nomination form, fill it out, get qualified residents to sponsor you by signing your nomination form and you are registered it is that simple.
Why would you want to do this you ask? Why wouldn’t you? Why would you want someone else making decisions for your community when you have ideas and vision yourself?
Council’s job is to create and share our vision and enable management to achieve the vision. We are not professionals and have no credentials, we are not experts we are residents who care about our community and have a desire to see it grow and prosper. We are members of the general public who decide to help the community. We are to stand beside our CAO as partners using their advice and guidance. It is the CAO’s job to make sure there is enough information to base a decision on and council’s job to investigate if there is not. Ideally members of council have no personal agenda other than to improve the quality of life for the entire community. There is no room for “me” on council. You are not there on your own behalf; you are there to be the unbiased eyes and ears of the general population. A diverse group of ages, occupations, incomes, sex, cultures, interests and values are of most benefit on a well rounded council. The more diverse the group the more comprehensive the discussion, the more productive the brain storming. A good leader who allows everyone an equal place at the table is also very important.
In my mind the only prerequisites for filling out a nomination form are to be an honest individual with a good business sense and a desire to improve the quality of life for everyone in the town and surrounding area. With no motive of personal gain, nor preconceived notions. Be open minded and willing to listen, be kind and willing to help. The biggest drawback is that we are at the mercy of a larger government and don’t always have the control we need or desire and that we are in fact the most accessible level of government which at times can be very wearing.
When Donna Rollie came to us as CAO we also had a new council and we had our work cut out for us. We had over $400,000 in lost revenue due to unpaid collectables, as of today that number is now $23,000. We were successful in implementing a recycling program, educated the public on bylaws, invested well over one half million dollars each year into paving including our public highway, we improved the working relationship with our neighboring RM’s and were successful in annexation providing room for future development. The groundwork on our new water treatment facility will be starting any day, we started a preventative maintenance program that systematically inspects our aging infrastructure so that we can be proactive in repairing issues before they become problems. We opened the lines of communication between the public and the Town office, made information more accessible, brought bylaws up to date and informed the public of existing bylaws that were being ignored. In the past 4 years we have managed to keep taxes the same although the growth of the community and our subsequent new assessments did change taxes dramatically the numbers that the Town collected remained the same. I am proud of what we accomplished and focus on what we did and have rather than what we did not and still need.
All in all my last 10 years of service have been very rewarding. I believe I have helped to set the tone for a fair and equal council. I believe the blue print of growth and prosperity has been set and I can take a step back and let our capable CAO guide the next Mayor and Council into the future.
Please consider this invitation to run for Council, to be a community builder, to make a difference.