January 15, 2021
At the time of this writing, it has been eight weeks since the by-election and six weeks since taking the oath of office on December 8, 2021. I would like to thank my family, team and supporters. I would also like to thank Murray McNab for running and giving voters a choice. He has very deep roots here and showed how much he cares about the community.
The day following the oath of office was described as a “baptism by fire” as it was a full day of on-going budget meetings. There were so many budget items to consider and I thank previous Alternate Director Colin Haime for providing a smooth transition by dealing with all Area H budget items, with the exception of those related to our Parks and Trails. These items will be considered by the newly formed Parks Advisory Commission (PAC) of Valerie Bresnahan, Shannon Boisvert, Brian Brown, Murray McNab and Pamela Walker.
In the middle of December, Guy Dauncey hosted a public Zoom meeting for me that was called “What’s Happening in Area H – What do you want to see on an Area H website”. The Zoom meeting included an update from the CVRD on the Harmonization of the Official Community Plan (HOCP), an update by Mike Fall of the Advisory Planning Commission (ACP), and from Pamela Walker about the Yellow Point Trail. There were also three surveys:
- Survey 1 – Where do you get your information?
Responses: Take Five 89%, Ladysmith Chronicle 44%, Facebook 33%
- Survey 2 – Main Topics for the Area H website (see below for responses)
- Survey 3 – Frequency of Town Hall Meetings
Response: Most popular was every three months.
The responses to Survey 2, and subsequent discussion, led to the framework for the now active www.AreaH.ca website. The purpose of the website is to share information “About our piece of Paradise”, “Hot Issues”, “Commission Updates”; “Director’s Updates”, “FAQs” and “Events”. It is my hope that the website will act as a useful place to share information amongst community members, helping all feel connected to the larger community.
The new year started with the monthly APC meeting, which was held January 11, 2021. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with this dedicated group of Mike Fall (Chair), Chris Gerrand (Vice Chair), John Edwards (Secretary), Allison Heikes, Shannon Boisvert and Doug Hoare. Aside from the ongoing work with the HOCP, this group responds to requests from CVRD planning to advise, and make recommendations to, the CVRD Board about Rezoning Applications and Development Permit Applications. The agenda, minutes and scheduled meetings will be posted on the CVRD website and linked to the AreaH.ca website.
On January 12, 2021 the CVRD made an on-line presentation about the draft 2021 budget. It is posted to the CVRD website https://www.cvrd.ca/2016/2021-Draft-Budget It is fairly close to being finalized and I invite you to take a look, if you are interested.
At the CVRD Board Meeting on January 13, 2021, I was appointed as the Board Representative to a joint CVRD-RDN committee for the Yellow Point Trail. The trail is a big dream of several local residents, and this is one small, but important, step to have both Regional Districts agree to have a joint committee.
In between all this activity, I am learning from the community water systems, properties flooding, driveways washing out, and noise from shooting. And one consistent thing I heard was how much Mary Marcotte is respected in the community.
Almost to the end. Looking back, I think this report has mostly been announcements. So here are the last two:
I would like to thank Barry Marcotte for agreeing to be the Alternate Director for Area H. Barry took the oath of office on January 11, 2021.
I would also like to invite you to the first Virtual Town Hall for Area H at 7pm on February 11, 2021. The link is http://bit.ly/39vqnb2 I hope to see and hear you there.
Lastly, please remember: being good neighbours is what makes a community great. Reach out and help. During these times the smallest act of kindness, a hello, a smile, a wave, goes a long way. Be that person and be safe.