Reflections and expectations

The election is coming! So this is my last column as a city councillor. Have I lived up to your expectations?

The election is coming! So this is my last column as a city councillor. Have I lived up to your expectations? Have I lived up to my own expectations? Have I actually made a difference?

One of the things I talked about in my election campaign was wanting to improve communications between city hall and the public. I think we’ve come a long way in that regard.

We’re explaining what we’re doing a lot better, mostly due to our awesome (part-time) communications officer, and linking it to the priorities established at the beginning of each year. More important than the frequency and quality of our communications is that we now regularly stop and ask the question on most issues and actions: what is the most appropriate way to move forward? Do we need public input (hence council’s most recent pause before approving any work on the ball field at Lions Park)? Can we provide more information on our website? How can we respond to feedback?

I know I’ve worked hard over the three years in the portfolios I was in — particularly on the Path to 2040 Sustainability Plan, and the Community Energy and Emissions Plan (the Low Carbon Path to 2040), but my hat goes off to councillor Deb Kozak for her important work at the regional level, and to councillor Donna Macdonald for her ability to make things happen.

The major planning processes that we have undertaken over the last three years will give staff and future councils the direction they need to make difficult decisions on allocating scarce resources.

One disappointment I have was that parks planning didn’t make it onto the priorities list for 2011, but the staff capacity just wasn’t there. Certainly if it had we would be in a much better position to quickly evaluate proposals like the upgrades to the Lions Park ball field, the requested improvements to Cottonwood Falls Park, etc. Hopefully we’ll see a master plan for our parks in 2012.

Did I contribute to the council table discussions in a meaningful way? I think so. Although I have been labeled “green” (I guess joining the provincial Green Party may have had something to do with that), I believe I’ve been open minded enough to consider all four pillars in all of my decision making.

It’s important to have diverse viewpoints represented at the table, in order to look at issues from all angles. But it’s also really important to have fresh, new perspectives. So consider how you can contribute to increasing the quality of decision making at the table in the upcoming election.

I know two of the three new candidates — Paula Kiss and Candace Batycki, and can attest that they would be excellent additions to the table. Both are able to grasp the big picture and yet understand how to get from here to there. They both have critical thinking skills and are able to listen attentively to other’s points of view.  And they are both hard workers who care deeply about their community.

Have I lived up to my own expectations? It was fun, I’ve learned a lot, and it was only frustrating occasionally. I met so many new people through community engagements, and have been overwhelmed by the level of volunteerism and commitment from Nelson’s residents. What an amazing community I have had the honor to serve.

Thank you for all the support I have received over the last three years. Now get out and vote for a new crew on November 19.


Just Posted

Harrop II launched on Kootenay Lake

The new cable ferry, assembled at Kaslo, is now carrying vehicles between Harrop and Longbeach

Nelson council gets first look at parking survey results

903 residents answered questions about downtown parking and how to improve it

Water advisory issued for South Slocan

Tests have found water quality to be only fair due to turbidity

Selkirk College to make pitch for new student housing on campus

$25 million project would see new student housing built in Nelson, Castlegar

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

More mixed race and Asian stem cell donors needed, says Victoria family

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read