Turner Valley council ready to roll
Election 2017: Finances, communication top priorities in new term
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 09:28 am
Finances and communication are among the top priorities as Turner Valley’s mayor and councillors settle into a new term.
Following the Oct. 25 swearing in ceremony, the town’s new mayor, four new councillors and two incumbents will meet for their first regular council meeting Oct. 30 at 6:30.
The focus will be getting started on the Town’s budget and improving communication with residents.
“First and foremost is opening up the communication and transparency,” said Coun. Lana Hamilton. “People really were pushing for some kind of a live stream or recorded council meetings. I think we need to address that pretty quick and see if we can make that happen.”
With budget time approaching, Hamilton said it’s another priority this fall.
“We need to start digging into the spending and see if we can find those inefficiencies that everybody was claiming was there,” she said. “We need to really start doing some analysis to see if we can reduce the spending.”
Hamilton said she looks forward to working with a talented team the next four years.
“Everybody brings something to the table,” she said. “We all have different ideas and I think it’s going to be a great team. I’m just ready to hit the ground running and get some work done.”
Coun. John Waring, who is beginning his second term on council, is just as eager to get started.
“We have a range of people with a lot of experience and knowledge,” he said. “There’s accounting background, engineering background and we’ve got people who have worked with fundraising on different types of organizations.”
Among council’s first orders of business is the budget, said Waring.
“Between now and the end of the year we’ve got to work with administration to pass the operating budget,” he said. “That’s the first hurdle for any council.”
Another priority is deciding how to improve communication with the public, he said.
“That could include live streaming, changes to the website and face-to-face communication with the public,” he said. “It’s going to be a learning experience for the people new on council to find out how they are able to support the residents.”
Coun. Garry Raab said there was pressure from the public during the campaigning process for council to live stream its meetings on the Internet.
“I’m certainly in favour of it,” he said. “Lots of people have to work for a living or can’t be there. Whatever we can do to make ourselves more transparent and visible the better.”
Raab is also looking forward to delving into the budget.
“I ran on a platform of trying to be more fiscally responsible so I think that’s what we have to do,” he said. “Our new budget is coming out fairly soon. We have to dig our teeth into that. I think we have to go through it line by line. I’m going to begin by getting up to speed with where the money is being spent and what the taxpayers want to see in the future.”
Raab expects a lot of work in the next few months.
“It’s going to be a steep learning curve and I’m looking forward to that,” he said. “We are all going to be really anxious to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”