From Mayor Gary Rowntree
October 16, 2018 marked Council’s first full year in office. It has certainly been a year of learning and accomplishments for each of us as we work diligently to achieve the mandate we were given by community.
At the recent Organizational Meeting of Council, a few changes were made to the 2019 committee appointments to allow Councillors to gain additional experience and better serve the community. As Mayor, I will be limiting my committee involvement in order to devote more time to engage with the community and with other levels of government.
Legalization of cannabis has brought additional workload on our administration staff to ensure appropriate bylaws are in place to regulate its sale and consumption, while continuing to allow for a safe and enjoyable community for all our residents and visitors. Along with a Smoking and Vaping Bylaw, the Land Use, Business Licence and Community Standards Bylaws were updated to address the legalization of cannabis. Be sure to visit the municipal website for details. The Town was recently advised the costs associated with incorporating the legislation would not be covered by the provincial government initially implied, therefore, Council is appealing this decision with the hope of recovering some costs.
Council will have its first look at the 2019 operating and capital budgets by mid-November and is expected to be completed by the end of December. The first meeting was held on November 14. This will tie in with Council’s work setting priority objectives to guide decision making. A key initiative is the establishment of a joint economic development committee with the Town of Black Diamond to work together to attract new business investment. TELUS fibre optics construction will soon be completed, significantly improving the speed of residential and business internet by the spring of 2019. As part of Council’s promise to improve communications with the public, equipment will be installed by early December to record and live stream Council meetings. Residents will be able to watch proceedings from home, although Council enjoys welcoming the public to meetings in Chambers as well.
The Christmas season is quickly approaching, and as we busy ourselves preparing, I encourage you to take the time to relax and enjoy. Reflect upon those who may not see the brightness the Christmas season brings and look for ways they too can have a glimmer of peace and joy at Christmas time.
On behalf of Council and staff, we wish you Merry Christmas and the best for 2019.