District of Vanderhoof - Council Message

January-February 21012 2011 - Councillor Carpenter

You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

I would like to start off this Updater article by expressing the deepest sympathies and support from the District of Vanderhoof to the community of Burns Lake. A tragic event of this scale reverberates throughout our close knit region and I know many of you, including myself, have friends or family in Burns Lake that will need your support and understanding.

This past November saw the induction of a new council with new insights, new abilities, and new visions. It seemed only appropriate for Council to convene and determine how much of all this “new” Council aligned with short, midterm, and long-term goals. To that end, Council recently utilized the spacious meeting room capacity at the new Integris Credit Union and spent a great deal of time establishing strategies and goals upon which Administration has been tasked to action on over the coming weeks, months and years.

Firstly, many of the strategies discussed and outlined were not inherently new; such as, striving to diversify our local economy, improving communication, supporting health and education, addressing brownfield issues, identifying infrastructure needs, or ensuring taxation and services are proportionate, fair, and sustainable. More importantly, it was a great venue for Council members to hear the needs and opinions of everyone so that reasonable consensus, actionable strategies may be implemented. A great deal of work and planning over the coming weeks and months will need to take place, however, I believe, Council started off 2012 on the right footing for the community of Vanderhoof.

Over the coming weeks expect to hear a great deal of information from the Pool Committee as it ramps up for the referendum. In addition, this time of year Council starts its annual process in regards to the 2012 operating budget. Capital projects, operating funds, service rates, community group support dollars, recreation programs, and taxation levels are just some of the many items up for discussion. Public input is always welcome as Council moves forward expanding, reducing, or eliminating a myriad of budget items, all of which, have direct financial and social impact on our Community.

In closing, there is much a community can control and influence; however, as we all know there are so many things outside all of our control. 2012 beckons to be an exciting year; therefore, let us strive to continue to work together, to harness our inherent strengths, to continually explore new opportunities, and to never become complacent.

On behalf of the Mayor, Gerry Thiessen and Council, Happy New Year!!

Councillor Darren Carpenter