Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Mayor uses inaugural speech to preview approach ahead for Council
The much anticipated first draft of how we will Re-Think Prince Rupert came following a presentation from two First Nations elders. Murray Smith and Alex Campbell, who provided a greeting to the new Council and a range of observations for Council members to consider.
Upon the completion of their presentation Mayor Brain thanked them for their words and observations; stating that he hoped it was the beginning of a much more cooperative and comprehensive relationship.
The opening address of the new Council delivered a nod towards the most recent one that last sat in the Chamber in November, with the new Mayor paying his respects to the work of Mayor Jack Mussallem, as well as Councillors Ashley, Carlick-Pearson and Garon.
Highlighting how they had to work in troubled economic times in the Community and that their efforts on the behalf of the people of Prince Rupert would not be forgotten.
He also hailed the work of the many City Council members through the years before, making note as to how they have helped this community get to where it is today.
He recounted the atmosphere of change that the results of November 15th delivered, making mention of the success of those that took their seats on December 1st, welcoming them aboard.
He also observed as to the still new nature of the Senior City Staff, all of which have only been in their positions for less than a year.
Noting that now the real work begins, he moved into the key points for his first presentation in Council Chambers.
Those looking for a lengthy review of priorities and plans from the new Mayor elect might be a little disappointed at the rather brief nod to the upcoming year of Civic Governance, with the inaugural address limited to three main themes.
He touched on the nature of our major infrastructure issues, with the need to expand the tax base to expand the revenue streams to start fixing an upgrading those infrastructure needs.
He also signalled his intention to focus on housing issues in the community, approaching the issue much more diligently as new developments are coming into town.
He then turned towards the topic of the need for more transparency and communication with the public. Suggesting that the public would soon see a more engaged approach from the City in the way of communicating with its residents.
Some of those initiatives will include a greater use of a social media presence, with regular updates for the public on such things as public meetings, public hearings and what is happening in the city and how to become involved.
Over time he would also like to see other changes, though he did not outline any specific themes as to what those changes might look like as his plans move forward.
He observed how this Council still needs to come together, working towards a strategic plan and outlining where the priorities might be. Expressing his faith in the ability of this new group of City Council to come up with a solid plan and then acting on those decisions.
He closed his address, by thanking everyone for their attendance on the night and noting how this was the start of a four year journey ahead and that "he believed that they were going to work very hard as a Mayor and Council, doing their absolute best for this community and to take Prince Rupert to new heights, something that he absolutely believes in, in his heart."
You can review the full address to Council from the City's Video Archive
It starts at the twelve minute mark and wraps up just before the fifteen minute mark.
For more items related to Prince Rupert City Council discussions see our archive page here.