After seven years in office, Mayor Peter Brown said he still enjoys his job and appreciates the challenges it can sometimes bring. As he reflects on 2017, Brown said the number one highlight for him was the introduction of curbside recycling in April.
“The blue bins, I think, are phenomenally utilized,” he said. “Ours is totally full every week.”
The addition of a second off-lane on Highway 2 northbound at Yankee Valley Boulevard is also a highlight of 2017, according to the Mayor.
“We would have had a lot more people parked on the highway had it not opened,” he said.
A number of different roadworks also made Brown’s list of highlights, including the bridge on 40 Avenue over the CP Rail tracks and the left-hand turn from Sierra Springs Drive to Yankee Valley Boulevard.
A $2.4 million renovation of Nose Creek Park, including the building of a new amphitheatre is something Brown said he felt would benefit the community for years to come.
Although it was a terrible situation, Brown said he was very impressed by how first responders in the community came together to fight the grassfire that consumed a home in Sharp Hill Oct. 17.
“(I really appreciated) all the intermunicipal agencies working together to contain (the fire), because that could have been a massive disaster with the wind shifts and the dry weather and everything else,” he said. “It could have been much, much worse than it was.”
In terms of challenges, Brown said he found it difficult to hear the rates of domestic violence in the community.
“Getting a handle on the information – I think that was a challenge,” he said. “To really understand the problem and figure out how to dedicate the resources to overcome that problem. I think it’s going to continue to be (a challenge).”
For the first time in seven years, Brown found himself up against some stiff competition in the mayoral race in October.
“Elections aren’t fun. I thought everybody, at least in the mayor’s campaign,…the community was well represented,” he said. “There was lots of choice.”
Brown said he has to give credit where credit is due and praised City staff.
“In everything we do here, it’s always overcoming obstacles. Whether it’s snow removal, customers at the rec centre or dealing with the public, you’re always going to have challenges,” he said. “What I appreciate the most this year is that people were looking at solutions very quickly. Even if people didn’t get what they wanted when they left, when they met with our administration, they felt that they were being heard.”