Well it seems a farewell is in order. We are losing one of our Councillors as Amber Lingelbach is resigning her position as an Alderperson due to a legislative conflict with her current employer. This was a surprise to all of us and also a disappointment. Amber has served the community well since her election and she brought many good insights and ideas to the Council table. I will certainly miss her as I am sure my fellow Councillors will as well. We wish Amber well in her future endeavours and thank her for her service.
So, as we will now be having an election to replace the seat that Amber is vacating it may be time to ask yourself if sitting as a member of Town Council is right for you. Clearly, people do not run for Council for the glory or for the riches that await the successful candidate. I speak from experience when I say neither of those things will come about. Neither should one run out of a desire to increase one’s power or to achieve some hidden agenda. Rather, an individual should run out of a desire to serve the community and their fellow citizens of Esterhazy. It is best to approach the position with an open mind and an open heart. And, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a thick skin either.
I’ve always thought that before someone jumps into anything it is wise to do some research so they can ascertain what they will be facing. Certain things you might want to know before jumping in with both feet are; What is the time commitment? What is expected of me? What are my legislative responsibilities? If I am in business will running for Council hinder my ability to run my business the way I see fit? Good questions all. By all means, if you are someone who feels you might like to throw your hat in the ring please feel free to contact me or our CAO Donna Rollie. I can give you my interpretation of what it means to be a public servant as I have been a Councillor and more recently the Mayor. Donna is well versed in all things administrative and can provide a lot of assistance to you in making your decision. She can provide you with some documentation that will be well worth reading prior to putting your name forward. Feel free to also contact any of our sitting Aldermen to ask questions.
A Councillor is entrusted with dealing at the strategic level not the operational level. Council has the responsibility of approving the annual budget and for long range planning for the Town. We have only one employee and that is our Chief Administrative Officer. All directives flow from there throughout the various supervisors and department heads within the Town’s organizational structure. Being on Council can be fun at times but it is also hard work as both the Councillors and the Mayor bear a great deal of responsibility and accountability in carrying out their duties.
In closing, I want to say that a lot of things have been accomplished over the past year including the completion of some much needed major projects. But, there is much more to be done with the vast majority of the capital expenditures being centred on expanding and improving our water treatment system. We are told by our engineering firm that there still remains quite a bit of money to be allocated in the Trudeau government’s infrastructure budget so we will be trying to apply for as many grants as possible to get further projects started and moving towards completion. 2017 was a very busy and challenging year and it is appropriate to thank all our staff for the work they had to do in allowing us to exit the year in a successful fashion.
As always, I wish everyone well and look forward with optimism to the upcoming election.
Mayor of Esterhazy