The made-in-Nelson wood purchasing policy is one Batycki’s early achievements.

Nelson council off to an agenda-packed start

Last week I was doing a radio interview; the host introduced me as “perhaps Nelson’s greenest councillor"

Last week I was doing a radio interview; the host introduced me as “perhaps Nelson’s greenest councillor” and I joked back, “in more ways than one!”

As a rookie there is a lot to learn about how things are done at City Hall: the powers that a city council has (and does not have), how those powers are exercised through bylaw and regulation, and how council conducts its business. As someone who has largely worked with consensus process all my adult life, I am getting re-acquainted with Roberts Rules of Order!

Of course we also dive right into budget deliberations. We have received detailed presentations from Nelson Hydro and from the City operations manager regarding water, sewer and resource recovery (aka garbage and recycling). These utilities have self-contained budgets, and the annual rates are set early in the year: by the time you read this, those rate bylaws will have had their first three readings (adoption is scheduled for February 6). Then we’ll focus on the city’s operating budget and five-year financial plan. Most meetings are open to the public and there is a calendar on the city’s website. Please note the evening open house, March 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Councillors are also assigned portfolios and committees. In 2012 I am sharing the arts and culture portfolio with councillor Donna Macdonald. This includes the Cultural Development Commission, Community Heritage Commission, and the boards of the Nelson Public Library, Touchstones Nelson, and the Capitol Theatre. Portfolios are still a work in progress, and I expect to take on additional responsibilities, including on the environmental topics that are my particular field of interest.

Thus far I have attended meetings of the boards of Touchstones Nelson and the Nelson Public Library. I am so grateful to the people who support institutions and community groups as board members. With so many groups in Nelson, finding good board members can be challenging. I encourage you to consider what you may have to offer. Qualities of a good board member start with passion for the mission of the organization. It helps to be a team player, capable of seeing the big picture, and to truly have the available time in your life. Other useful competencies include accounting and finance, marketing, communications, legal, business, management, governance, previous board experience, strategic planning, and specific competencies related to the work of the organization. In the case of Touchstones Nelson, some knowledge about maintaining 110-year-old buildings is helpful too!

I also attended the Kootenay Literary Competition awards ceremony earlier this month. Thanks to everyone who worked on this wonderful event, and particularly to the authors for getting out of their pajamas and reading from their works. Browsing the dozens and dozens of books by Kootenay authors available for sale, I am impressed again by the wealth of our talent.

Like any councillor I have my own to-do list for this mandate. My platform included food security and localization, composting, transit, strengthening neighbourhoods, promoting healthy ecosystems, and improving communications between citizens and City Hall. During the election campaign I met with many people who are active on these issues, and I’m continuing to meet more folks and learn about issues and potential actions. I’m looking forward to developing project plans in the months to come.

Star readers will have read about my successful motion for the city to develop a made-in-Nelson wood purchasing policy that rewards more sustainable local wood businesses. And of the course the city’s sustainability plans now need to be acted on, too.

As part of my commitment to open government, I have renamed my election website to, and will be maintaining a blog and calendar there, as well as my existing platform. Please come by! I plan to blog weekly, and look forward to your comments and suggestions, and to conversations to come. Meanwhile, please get out and enjoy the snow! It’s the antidote to the winter blues.

Councillor Batycki shares this Wednesday space with her colleagues around the table


Just Posted

Leafs stretch winning streak to 8 games

Nelson downed Grand Forks 5-2 on Friday

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read