And just as the leaves fall from the trees and autumn marches slowly but inevitably towards winter, my thoughts turn to what we have already achieved in the very short time we have been in office and the long road ahead.
Yes, in that short time, we have accomplished much. Yet we are all very aware that these are only the early days and that there is much more to be done. With only one returning councillor, the rest of us have a lot of catch up to do. And even if I, along with most of the new council have served on past councils, I can tell you that it’s been a pretty steep learning curve.
We are not there yet, but we do have a very enthusiastic and energized council who have been working very hard each and every day, both individually and as a group, to move this city forward. As a new council, it takes time to come together, share ideas, discuss possibilities, become familiar with each other and begin to formulate a collective strategy and direction forward, but we are getting there.
First though, we need to understand how the city works.
We have spent many hours working with city staff to orient the new council and pour over policy documents, organizational charts, by-laws, maps and regulations. Each of our policy advisory committees has met to deal with the myriad of requests and issues around planning, development requests, landscape fees, land development, tax sales, budgets, hiring, travel, paving, line painting, water cuts, and so much more.
We have met with community groups and organizations seeking council support for events and facilities, improved health care and greater business opportunities. We have raised flags, signed proclamations, attended fundraisers, events, walks and performances and we have held two public council meetings in four weeks.
Yes, it has been one busy month, and I suspect it will be an even busier year. As we begin the budget process, we will be looking for input from the public on issues that concern them most in an effort to deliver the most efficient, cost effective services that our residents want and need.
How we work together to manage that change will be one measure of our success.