While it’s said that practice makes perfect, once elected, some politicians don’t have the chance to rehearse their roles as they’re on the clock the moment the election results roll in.
That said, whether they’re new to the political landscape or a seasoned pro, Hope’s freshly elected politicians joined forces with other municipal leaders at the Local Government Leadership Academy.
“It’s a good time,” said Mayor Peter Robb. “I’d been to them before when I was on council … (but really it’s just) a lot of us sharing stuff (that’s happening) in our communities.”
And to maximize their productivity, Robb says council “divided and conquered” the LGLA this year. “There are planned seminars and classes, so we’re all gathering new stuff to bring back to each other and compare notes.”
“This was the first year for myself and Craig Traun. The rest had been before,” said Coun. Victor Smith. “It was very good for (all of) us. There was great team-building, which makes it better for us. And since we’re all (essentially) volunteers, (the LGLA) makes us a better board of councillors.
“And it was definitely an eye-opener for us because we hadn’t been at that municipal level before. When you sit there talking, you’re talking with mayors and councillors who’ve been there before.”
Supported through the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), the LGLA is a leadership development initiative that serves local governments and First Nations elected officials by improving the competencies needed to effectively manage and lead B.C.’s communities.
“I learned about a lot of the (municipal) regulations and the layers of how the financing works, which I did not know before,” Smith said.
“It was so interesting to learn about that and the safeguards in place to protect our towns and people, which is very Canadian.”
“I (took part in a) decision making class … and how to run a more effective council meeting,” said Robb. “A lot of us were sharing the stuff (that matters to) our communities,” and we all share the top three issues: the aging and construction of infrastructure; affordable housing and what that looks like; cannabis bylaws and zoning requirements.
“We (also) talked about homelessness, and the opioid (crisis) as well. Most of us are all at the same starting point and are trying to share ideas on how to bring the rest forward.”
Held at the Radisson Hotel Conference Centre in Richmond, from Jan. 15 til 17, Robb says the LGLA was good for Hope’s council because “sharing ideas is always good” for everyone involved.