Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Notes from the Mayor's Desk: January 2014

The New Year brings us the chance to look forward to the year ahead.  In the first few days of the New Year the biggest issue faced by all of us in the community is snow - more than we have seen in decades. The staff work to safely and efficiently move that snow and address the calls and concerns you have. Thank you for your help and patience as we all try to deal with Mother Nature and all the gifts she brings.

January will see Sundre’s Council, working together with Mountain View County Council, pressing the Provincial Government to outline plans for action on flood mitigation.  We will continue to support Mountain View County proposals and plans for upstream work.  We will work with our MLA, Joe Anglin, to advocate for work to be done in the river basin upstream of the bridge so it can be protected.  It is critical to our community that action is taken before the spring run off.

February will see us preparing a "Strategic Plan" which is just a fancy term for setting goals for the near and distant future.  "Continuous Improvement" is a goal we will be talking about.  Our residents expect us to seek methods of improvement in all areas of the organization.  It is easy to say we will try to continuously improve, but it is another thing to have an attitude and a mindset that everyone agrees to focus on.  We need to continuously look for more efficient ways to do business.  Our strategic planning process will look at specific methods and ideas that we will outline and work towards.

Taxes are always a concern to residents and businesses.  We have reduced the tax rate from last year by a percentage point, but we must continue to try and keep taxes down.  We would all agree that government can't continue to grow - and yet we all expect services to be reasonable.  We need community growth, efficiency in our business and innovation that allows us to enhance service levels with little impact to the residents and businesses.  These ideas will also be part of the strategic planning process in February.

We want to support and recognize volunteers, groups and organizations that give our community the character that is our reputation.  Council and staff want to recognize the fact that if we are all working together, our community morale, spirit and attitude will be filled with optimism and hope for our future and pride in our past.  It is not always easy to be an optimist.  What choice do we really have when we are modeling for our children and grandchildren - optimism or pessimism?  Council will encourage and support the work you do to help others in our community.

On behalf of Council and staff I thank you for all you do in our community.  I encourage you to talk with us about your thoughts.  Together we will make 2014 a great year :)

Terry Leslie,
Mayor, Town of Sundre

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