The beginning of November 2020 marked the current city council’s two year anniversary. With the byelection coming up and in February, we asked each of the councillors and mayor what the past two years has been like and if they have any advice for those considering putting their name on the ballot.
It has been a pretty hectic two years on council.
From the early days of six new members trying to learn the ropes, to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic there have been very few dull meetings.
The pace of development has not slowed and the ongoing needs of our decaying infrastructure (roads, pipes, bridges) is a constant concern.
Throughout all this, I am continually impressed both with the city’s staff and my fellow councillors who work so hard to keep the city running.
As much as the job of councillor can be extremely frustrating, it is always interesting.
Perhaps the thing that has surprised me the most, is how almost every meeting at least one councillor will surprise me.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but I have been pleasantly surprised by all my fellow councillors at one time or another.
I’m still optimistic that the ground work being laid in Development Services will bear fruit and that a number of large planning projects will get completed.
From Development Cost Charges to Community Amenity Contributions provide a better foundation for funding our long-term infrastructure needs.
I would hope to see RMR staff housing being built, as well as BC Housing building on the old Downie Street school site.
There’s no silver bullet to fix the housing crisis in Revelstoke, but there are a number initiatives that are underway which will bring hope for improvement.
Changing our bylaws to allow carriage homes and tiny houses would also allow us to grow in a more sustainable manner.
As there is a by-election coming up shortly, I’m excited about having Revelstoke choose a new councillor.
I’m hopeful that we will have a few strong candidates, and that there will be a good discussion and strong visions of where Revelstoke should be going.
Change at this point is inevitable, but these years are critically important to ensure that Revelstoke remains a strong and welcoming community.
I hope that candidates understand the limitations of the powers that municipal governments hold in B.C. and are committed to working hard for little pay and a lot of flak for what they believe.
It’s a job like no other, with a lot of drawbacks, but limitless opportunities for learning.
For now, the focus needs to be on staying safe and healthy.
That means both physically and mentally.
The city needs to do what it can to help the citizens of Revelstoke, and the citizens of Revelstoke need to do their best to help the city.
That means stopping the spread of COVID, but also getting outside and getting some exercise and feeling good about life as well.
Stay safe Revelstoke!