Longview councillors ready to get started
Election 2017: Council focusing on bylaw revisions, growth
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 09:28 am
It didn’t take long for Longview council to get down to business after residents cast their ballots last week.
Eight days after the Oct. 16 municipal election, incumbents Carole MacLeod and Kathie Wight, and newcomer Christina Weir, held a council meeting and selected Wight as mayor for the term.
To select the mayor, MacLeod said councillors considered how long members served on council, their availability, personality and approachability.
“It’s really important that whoever sits in the mayor’s chair is able to speak to the media, speak in public, is able to go to functions that they’re requested to go to,” she said. “Even though we’re a small village it’s a very important job.”
Following the Oct. 16 election, MacLeod is beginning her third term on council.
“After being on council for six years it’s always an honour when the public decides that they want you back in,” she said. “It was a close race. Everybody got some good numbers.”
According to the unofficial results, 146 ballots were cast. Weir received 103 votes, followed closely by MacLeod with 101 and Wight with 90. Candidate Walter Fox received 85 votes.
MacLeod wants council to complete revisions to the Village’s land use bylaw and animal control bylaw. The land use bylaw was revised in 2007 and several amendments were made since, she said.
“It’s confusing because you’re back and forth,” she said. “It’s nice to have the document in one form.”
The Village contracted the service to revise the bylaw for $22,000. A template was used and tweaked to fit with Longview’s existing bylaws, which range from parking recreational vehicles to using Sea-Cans, MacLeod said.
Updating the animal bylaw will be much simpler, she said. It includes adjusting the licensing fees and tightening up the bylaw.
“We just want to make sure that we have a fair bylaw for everybody to follow,” she said. “There are other municipalities that passed a bylaw that you can have chickens but they have to be enclosed and no roosters allowed. That’s definitely something we will look at as well.”
MacLeod said she would like to see both bylaws passed before the end of the year.
Another priority for MacLeod is the Village’s aging infrastructure.
“There are a few (water/sewer) lines that need attention fairly quickly,” she said. “When the MPE Engineering study was done there were only a couple or three places that looked like they might be needed within the next while. We want to look at different options rather than rip up the streets.”
MacLeod said it’s been a few years since infrastructure repairs were done in Longview and projects will be tackled in stages based on need.
Weir, council’s only newcomer, is looking forward to delving into her councillor responsibilities.
In addition to working on the land use and animal bylaws, Weir, who is also a member of the village’s new branding committee, said she would like to see the community work together to attract more businesses and tourists to Longview.
“We need to rejuvenate,” she said. “We need more tourists.”
Weir moved to Longview three years ago after falling in love with the village at first sight. She was planning to move to Okotoks with her boyfriend to be close to her sister.
“We couldn’t find a place to live in town,” she said. “We drove through Longview and my boyfriend said, ‘I would love to live there.’”
Wight, who’s lived in Longview since 1977, said the village has experienced little population growth over the past 40 years but has seen improvements like the addition of art galleries, restaurants and houses.
There’s room for more, she said.
“I hope Longview turns out to be a destination to go to see, not just drive on by, that our businesses get successful more-so than they are now,” she said. “Our galleries seem to be quite something and we’ll have our pathway finished hopefully next year and that will be something to come and see in the evenings with the glowing rocks.”
Wight envisions growth for the village’s future.
“More businesses would be nice but we’re handicapped in that we don’t have space,” she said. “There is one commercial lot for sale on the south end of town. There is still potential for some growth.”
In the meantime, Wight is also eager to see the land use and animal bylaws complete.
“There were lots of amendments that were made over the years and it was getting kinda crazy to look things up and other things that were starting to come up over the years,” she said of the land use bylaw.
Wight served one term on council, and said it continues to be a learning process.
“There is continual changes,” she said. “You have to adapt as you go along.”