By Mark McKee, Mayor of Revelstoke
The new year is upon us and council is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities for the future of Revelstoke that lie ahead.
Budget season is quickly approaching and there will be numerous city departmental meetings to inform council on how the city departments function, the service each one provides and the cost of that service to taxpayers. This will enable council to make better-informed decisions during the budgetary process.
Council will be attending local government seminars on roles and responsibilities of elected officials, something I call “alderman school.” This is another essential part of the “new” councils’ learning curve. We are all of course diving into the day-to-day committee meetings, council meetings, and information gathering as part of council’s decision-making process. For a new member of council, this can be a very time consuming, albeit interesting part of the job.
Of course council is well aware that the community’s priorities are council’s priorities. Having a series of tragic highway accidents and subsequent extended closures is not acceptable, and council is prioritizing this issue. Not only will we be pressing other levels of government for highway upgrading, but we will also be re-evaluating short-term operational procedures.
Is the maintenance contract written to allow enough for the contractor to maintain the road to be as safe as possible? What can be done to get accident investigators and, if needed, a coroner to the accident scene as quickly as possible to shorten the closure time? What is the plan to meet the needs of the travelling public?
There is a need for accommodations, food, a warm place to relax and wait, and information in general. There needs to be a coordinated effort between all of the workers, RCMP, highway rescue, highways, flag persons, and the Chamber of Commerce. Working together, we can minimize the impact and open the highway as soon as possible.
We are eager to serve the people of this city, as promised in the election. We are prioritizing and outlining the plans for the next four years so that we can be productive and effective in making progress and positive changes in Revelstoke.
I’m looking forward to what this council will be able to accomplish with the support of this community.