Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Transition Toward a New Council

I thought you might be wondering about what’s happening during this transition period between the old and new Town Council?

As a result of the municipal election on October 25, our new Council includes three new members – Gary Accursi, Larry Clark, and Catherine King – and three returning Councillors – John Durley, Peter Papp, and Debbie Urbanowicz – and myself.

Shortly after the election I met personally with each Councillor-Elect. We spoke about the transition period, ideas for the new term, and the opportunities Councillors have to serve on various Town committees or Boards – like the Active Transportation Committee or Pelham Public Library Board.

Over the next couple of weeks, Council will get together socially. Staff will host a coffee break to meet the new Council next week. Then, as is a tradition in Pelham, Council will meet socially with Department Heads prior to Christmas as well as participate in the Staff Christmas Party. Council itself will also meet socially over the coming weeks so we can get to know each other as a group.

But, the transition will include much work, too. Prior to the new term, Councillors-Elect will participate in an Orientation Session to learn about all facets of the Town’s services – from Planning to Bylaws, from Fire to Libraries, and from Roads to Parks. We will review the “Conflict of Interest” rules, the procedures used during Council meetings, and the recently approved Councillor’s “Code of Conduct.”

Your new Council will officially make our “Declaration of Office” at our Inaugural Meeting on Wednesday, December 1 from 7:00 PM at the Royal Canadian Legion, Fonthill. This Special Meeting will officially begin the public service of your Council. All are welcome; please join us!

On Monday, December 6 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers, your new Council wants to hear from you with ideas and suggestions about what we should include in the 2011 Town Budget. All are welcome to this Public Meeting.

We will hold our first official Council & General Committee meeting on Monday, December 13 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers. Then, Council & General Committee meetings will continue on the first and third Mondays of each month beginning on January 17, 2011.

Finally, in late-January or early-February, we will meet to develop our Strategic Plan – a plan that will guide Council and the Town for the next four years and beyond.

This is an exciting time! I look forward to working with our new Council to continue to improve our Town.