So here I am. Finally getting back to communicate as promised. I guess it is “better late than never” but I am disappointed it has taken me so long to get back to sharing. I will try to do better. The last three months have flown by at a pace I never imagined. January started off with the levee which was a lovely experience. I had the opportunity to chat with some old and new friends and meet others for the very first time. Everyone I spoke to had different things on their mind but there was one common thread: a clear passion for Port Hope. As the month continued the training continued. Works and Engineering, Corporate Services, Police Services Board, Municipal Project Staff, Fire and Emergency Services and County Council Orientation. In addition, as the month progressed, I was introduced to the second board that I would sit on and I must say, I was delighted to be named to the Library Board. As a true devotee to lifelong learning, this was a good fit. That said though, with the amount of reading necessary to keep current on council initiatives, I dare say I will not have time to read a book for the next four years!!

There have been many firsts for me throughout this quarter. I chaired my first budget meeting. I had my first interaction with the integrity commissioner. I discussed transparency and the need for open, honest government. I spoke with residents about noise, by-laws and hens. I visited residents in their homes to learn more about their issues. I spoke about brand integrity and reputation management and continue to work on this. I shared dinner with Cobourg Council. I have been to provincial announcements. I have been to EA presentations and strat planning sessions. I learned about the safe water drinking act. I attended and continue to monitor the PHHS issue. I have submitted my campaign finances and done staff reviews. I shared a meal and some laughs with many of our great volunteers at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. And I read and studied and researched and discussed and learned and learned and learned. I have learned and done a great many things in this first four months of being a councillor but one thing stands out for me. When I accepted the role of councillor, I accepted an associated responsibility: to be a leader. In these days of Trump, true leadership becomes increasingly more vital.

To me being a leader encompasses many things. It is being honest. It is being open minded. It is being transparent. It is being prepared. It is doing the research in order to make an educated and informed decision. Being a leader is not about making an emotional decision on an issue and trying to get others to support that decision. It is ensuring others have the complete and fulsome information to make their own informed decision. Being a leader is not keeping your thoughts to yourself. Being a leader is sharing all you know about an issue to allow others the opportunity to learn from your knowledge. Being a leader is having the courage to go back on a campaign promise if your subsequent research shows that your initial decision was wrong. And being a leader means you do what you believe is best for the community. Everyone will not make the same decision after doing the research but…… that is democracy.

I have done endless research on adaptive reuse, long term care facilities and providers, construction funding studies and Long-Term Care design manuals. I have read the Official Plan (which is meant to be our guiding document for planning) as well as the new Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest editions. I am reading the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 which our planning decisions “shall be consistent with”. I continue to do research on backyard hens and associated by-laws, the strategic plan and the Choate Street extension. And through it all, I still envision Port Hope as a leader in sustainability, balanced growth and inclusion. I still support heritage, arts and culture as the key drivers of our economic viability and sustainability.

If you are passionate about an issue, please share your knowledge with me because all my votes will be made based on facts and research. Got something on your mind? Let’s talk!!