On behalf of the Village of Canal Flats council and staff, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year and all the best for 2015. I am excited to start the new year with a well-balanced council, having two experienced members and two new members bringing fresh ideas to the table.
I was pleased to see that there were not too many changes around the Columbia Valley Directors’ table (at the January 8th meeting), which will allow us to keep our momentum going. We have worked very hard to tackle valley-wide issues and have established a good working relationship.
Canal Flats council is starting the new year by diving into the annual budget process.
This has been delayed due to the election last November and it will be a big learning curve for those new on council.
At the end of January, we are planning a Strategic Planning Session, which will help council determine which projects are priorities and where the taxes will be best spent.
I am especially excited about this year’s session as it will give us the opportunity to spend some time together in a less formal setting and get to know each other better.
It is a very interesting process since you have five different personalities, each of whom ran very different campaigns. But in the end, we will come to a consensus on how to best serve the taxpayer.
In February, we will be participating in an Elected Officials Seminar in Kimberley, which will be an incredible learning experience for both new and incumbent councillors and mayors. We will have a full three days of workshops and sessions teaching us the ins and outs of local government. It will also give us the opportunity to network for the first time with newly elected officials in our region and connect with old friends. Personally, I feel that the networking sessions are the most important at these events. It is so beneficial to talk to like-minded colleagues from other jurisdictions and it’s the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t.
In closing, I want to thank The Valley Echo for giving us this opportunity to inform the public as to what is happening in our respective communities. I look forward to reporting to you from Canal Flats.
Ute Juras is the mayor of Canal Flats and can be reached at 250-489-9070 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.