First I want to say what a huge responsibility you have given me and it is a huge honour to have you place your trust in me. I feel my job is to make sure everyone in our city gets a shared benefit. In other words council attempts to balance everything it can. This includes city services, utilities, arts, sports, culture and safety. A tough job as it is easy to focus on one area and make it your focus.
What it is I am learning: Council is responsible for what we are going to do and when we are going to do it and the how is up to our experts in management to figure out how.
Good governance states you must respect the offices of mayor and councillors. Even if you disagree you still must respect their issues and concerns. All council is required to support the decision of the whole once agreed to by a favourable vote.
It is my experience that we have dedicated directors, manager, support staff and outside workers. However some in council have stated they do not trust anything administration says or provides. Others state the numbers don’t make sense or the numbers are not correct. Not a very good statement for our councils future. We need to work together and if we cannot trust our information we need to make the changes. When I have questions about the numbers , information was provided and overall have been to my satisfaction. The provincial regulations state we must have a fully audited financial statement by an outside auditor and we do.
If we are going to have a council that works to the benefit of the community we need to trust our information and follow the decisions of the whole. Without it we will have a council that has no respect from the administration, community, other levels of government or each other. But worse than that we will have employees that are not confident or willing to make the decisions they need to to do their jobs. A slippery slope for councillors to go down. We heard while at SUMA how Lloydminster had a similar problem they took the challenge and surveyed their employees and citizens. Maybe we need to do the same.
Budget process is how we determine our strategic direction and drive the next 4 years. We have a short window to make a difference. We need to leave our city better than we found it last October 24th. It all comes down to attitude and a work ethic that is inclusive not divisive. Some seem bent on building distrust and division. Others are working hard to build and promote a better community. It is about coming up with solutions. I for one am on the side of positive changes. I love our city and want it to be the best it can be.
Over the last many weeks I have received calls about burnt out lights, bridge dangers, busing, sidewalks, and of course street cleaning.
All these required me to reach the city manager, directors, support staff and then our fantastic outside workers. One issue is an example of how much our city wants to help our citizens. Last weeks snow fall required 2nd avenue West by the mall to be graded many times. Each time ridges were created on the walkway from 13th Street West at Zeller’s parking lot. Many calls came in due to seniors having difficulty with the crossing. Our staff went out and hand shovelled it, not once but many times. See they care about others and it is more than a job , it is because they are really helping others and making a difference.
Snow warning - spring is coming
Snow is our current enemy and is about to provide us tough times this spring if we get a quick thaw. Our major snow falls are February to April. We are already putting resources and plans in place to help our low laying areas.
Enjoy the warmer weather and have a great Family Day.