Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Praise for the work of Mayor Lee Brain from his Council; Kudos from other officials and followers on Facebook following announcement of plans to step down from post this fall

What is shaping up to be a Long Farewell for Mayor Lee Brain had its start at Monday's City Council session, with Councillor Blair Mirau making note of the Mayor's announcement earlier in the day of his intentions to not seek a third term as the top elected official in Prince Rupert municipal government.

Mr. Mirau leading off the comments from some of the Council members, reflecting on the shared journey of the last seven years.

"If no one else is going to make comment on the Mayor's announcement, then I may as well start and you guys can feel free to jump in. I'm assuring you all saw it that he's not going to be running in the next election in October. 

So I just wanted to this opportunity being that the day that he's announced to wish him all, I think that obviously it's a tough decision to walk away, particularly with all the really exciting stuff that we have on track. Not just from this past year but also coming up over the next few months. 

So the hard work is not over between now and October we know there's a lot to do, but I want to wish you well Lee, it's been a fantastic experience working with you for the last seven years, I know it's going to be a very productive last ten months, as you're going to change all your energy an focus  into seeing as much through before your time is up so I know it was a tough decision and I wish you well. 

 And I know based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback that you've received so far that you will be missed at the City of Prince Rupert -- Councillor Blair Mirau

The Mayor thanked Mr. Mirau for his comments, and noted that perhaps the gravy train of best wishes from his fellow Councillor members could be deferred to later on in the year.

Mr Brain did take a few moments however to review some of the highlights of his time on Council, much of it a reprise of his notes through his Facebook post which you can review here.

Among some of his themes the challenges that Council has faced as well as a review of the work on Watson Island, the Vision planning that has taken place, infrastructure work, along with a hint that more announcements are to come before his final time in office comes to pass.

He also made note of what first propelled him to seek office seven years ago and how thins have progressed since that decision.

"We all ran because we wanted to make the community a better place and that's ultimately why I ran for Mayor because I wanted to live in a town, personally that I was proud of.  And one thing that is not necessarily I would say known , well it's known, people who are in my generation or younger have never really known Rupert as a successful community. 

You know our generation was born into the decline of Rupert, by the time I graduated High school this community had basically already collapsed, half my friends had left town because their parents lost jobs and our generation just never knew this heyday of Rupert, that the stories that I've heard in my life, which are basically just stories about Rupert's past.

So, you know coming in here, you know I felt that it was our job to really just start a new conversation  and a new direction and I feel the community is on track now. 

I think you know, we've raised two hundred million dollars now of direct community investments as a team, all of us as a team here on Council.  You know this isn't about me, or anything like that it's about what w did to just get this community moving forward"-- Some of Mayor Lee Brain 's comments to Council on Monday

Councillor Adey did share some of his own thoughts, while respecting the mayor's call to hold off on the tributes and such.
"I'll respect the proposal to defer an extended round of speeches cause I think there's a lot of work to be done and I think the time to do all that will certainly come later and should be enjoyed and appreciated to its full value. 

I do appreciate what Councillor Mirau said, I couldn't have said it better myself and I'm certainly looking forward to the next eight or nine moths to see how far we can take things" 

One final thought came from Councillor Cunningham who noted of the Mayor's energy and what he had brought to City Hall.

"You brought a vision and energy to Council and you got all of us, you got this old guy revitalized  to the point where it was exciting, your leadership has been phenomenal Lee. 

You know I know there was a lot of nay sayers when  the first term was there, what's this young guy with no experience going to do and things like that. 

But I think you showed the town and the world, that young people can stand up and be counted and I'm proud to have been part of that, I really am"

The Council conversation can be reviewed starting at the 29 minute mark of the Video Archive.

The City Council members were not alone in their comments coming out of Monday's announcement, word reached Victoria, with Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne providing for some thoughts on the Mayor's decision.

Also sharing some notes on the topic was Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bacharch.

Fellow Mayor Gladys Atrill  from Smithers also offered her congratulations following the Mayor's announcement.

More notes on Monday's Council session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline.

The path of the next eight months for the mayor and council can be tracked through our Council Discussion archive.

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