A few weeks ago I sent an email out to the Mayor and six councillors. It’s good to check in sometimes and see what sticks out for people after a year with a new job for some, and new partners for others.
I received responses from Councillors Haggard and Paulson so I’ve included them below.
Here is what I sent them:
In an effort to promote transparency and information sharing between the City and public I am reaching out to you and each Councillor. It has now been just over a year since you were sworn in as a Council! Congratulations!
I am gathering answers to 5 standard “One Year in” questions. Here are the questions! Please be as detailed as you would like, the more the merrier.
Below are each question I asked followed by the answers from Councillors Haggard and Paulson.
Q1: In the past year, what has been your greatest achievement as a Council?
“We have taken a collaborative approach in working together as a council. We are a diversified council with each having our own strengths. We may not always agree, but we disagree with respectfulness.”
“As you know I have gone through a bit of lost time due to medical issues but I am pleased to say that I am well on the way to a full recovery (I hope). In the Spring and early Summer I was out of commission for close to five months.
Anyway, I am very proud of the new Corporate Strategic Plan that this new Council has worked so hard on. This process, I believe has helped to foster a feeling of “team” on this present council which is so important to have a functioning, respectful team.”
Q2: In the past year, what has been your most proud moment as Mayor/Councillor?
“Just having the title of a Councillor from Port Alberni makes me feel very proud. I am always proud to represent our community whenever I attend a conference or event, whether it is in-town or out of town.”
“Personally, I really enjoy the work I can contribute with regard to Committee work (i.e. Personnel Committee, Advisory Traffic Committee, Regional District etc.) on behalf of Mayor, Council and the residents of Port Alberni. A lot gets done away from council chambers that the general public doesn’t see.”
Q3: In the past year, what has been the most challenging decision you have had to make and why was it challenging?
“In the past year, what has been the most challenging decision you have had to make and why was it challenging? The most challenging decision was the new tax exemption policy, which made a lot of changes for some non-profits.”
“Some of the toughest and contentious decisions that have and are being made is around the controversial emergence of the legal cannabis industry.”
Q4: In the coming year, what is a change or new direction you are excited to pursue?
“I am excited to pursue the goals and objectives of our strategic plan.”
“I don’t see “change” as the correct term but the incorporation of the Strategic Plan and holding to those ideals and ideas as close as possible (leaving the door open to new and emerging thoughts though).”
Q5: In the coming year, what is a specific project you are excited to start, continue, or complete.
“I am excited to pursue economic diversification for our community. “
“Some very interesting things moving forward are the “Food Hub” concept and the possibility of a floating dry dock for the community. These are just a couple of examples of diversity in our economy and hopefully leading to new and increased employment in our community. With my medical absence in the early part of the year I have gone through a period of time of “catching up” but as the year nears it’s end I am so optimistic about our future here in the Alberni Valley. You know me, I’m always a glass half full person!!!”