A day in the life of Mayor and Council. It probably doesn’t start at 3 AM like some days of the volunteer firefighters you read about last week but certainly the schedule is all over the clock. If you’re on the Water and Sewer Committee, for example, you could be meeting at 7:30 in the morning to hear reports on issues affecting the delivery of pure water and removal of waste – breakfast not provided. Other committees, commissions, and liaison appointments will interrupt your golf game at almost any hour, and then there are the unscheduled meetings with interest groups representing industry, education, health care, and almost every other function of modern society. Your Council member really must live by the book and not only the Good Book. Without that date book handy we would be in deep trouble real quick.
What are some of the committees, commissions, and liaison appointments that call on the wit and wisdom of Mayor and Council when we are not in Council Meeting? I thought you’d never ask. This year we have only five Council Committees, each headed by a member of Council, dealing with Community Improvements, Finance Strategy, Health Services, Public Works, and Water and Sewer. Exciting, eh? Perhaps not exciting in the ordinary sense of the word, but certainly interesting and challenging.
Community Improvements (Councillor Don Harris), for example, works to make and keep Chetwynd beautiful. Among its projects you will find Communities in Bloom and Winter Lights. Finance Strategy (Councillor Bob Nicholson) focuses on keeping the operations of your local government solvent without digging too deeply into the pockets of the electors – recommending to Council taxation rates, the projects that should be done this year, and those that can be deferred for a little longer. Health Services (Councillor Ernest Pfanner) takes an active interest in your health and the health care that is available in Chetwynd. Our major efforts right now are directed toward attracting new physicians to town. Public Works (Councillor Alec Brownlee) keeps its eyes on the ground, on bridges, sidewalks, and pavement – interests that grip the attention of most of you in town. Water and Sewer is out of sight as long as it continues to flow. The Water and Sewer Committee (Councillor Laura Weisgerber) is tasked with monitoring the water works and reporting to Council on potential problems and changes to the systems.
Six boards and commissions are served by two to four members of our team plus members of the public. The Regional District Board carries the heaviest work load with all-day meetings twice a month plus one or two of its own committees. The Mayors of the area municipalities usually sit on this board with one or two alternates selected from their councils. The other commissions or boards include the Economic Development Commission, the Civic Properties Commission, the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Municipal Finance Authority, and the South Peace Economic Development Commission.
The 15 liaison appointments? Please be patient.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor