So, council life continues at the frenetic pace it has had since I was elected. I thought that things would level out during the summer months since we were on a reduced meeting schedule but that is not the case. While the formal meetings are lessened, the events are greatly increased.
I have had my ups and downs during the last three months at the council table. I have been disappointed in outcomes such as not having the environment placed as a priority in the strategic plan. Although we speak to environmental responsibility in the mission statement, I believe in today’s world, there needs to be laser like focus on tackling the climate crisis. I also believe it will take each and every one of us to have the impact needed to make a difference. I am prepared to do so.
I was also disappointed with council’s decision on backyard hens. After doing my research, there were a couple of things that turned my decision to be a supporter. One is the fact that we are a rural community that speaks of embracing the agri-food/agri-tourism industry. We need to be open minded and see, with both long and short term vision, what that looks like in practice to make the transition to the food circle economy. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, is that we ARE a rural community. Agreed, today we have a rural and an urban component but that is something that does not need to persist. We are one community and if we are to ever experience true cohesion, we need to remove all boundaries, both real and imagined.
During this same time, our council has made some decisions that I am truly happy with. We were able to save Rose’s cottage at the 11th hour. This cottage at Penryn was slated for demolition but with agreement from AON and Mason Homes and some quick work by ACO, HPH, council and staff we were able to facilitate a deal with Henderson Construction to move the cottage. We have also facilitated by-law changes to allow better access for taxi cabs, done extensive work on development charges and offered support to our high school. All in all, far more positives than not.
I continue to believe it is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. Assuming all members of council are doing their research and working with an open mind, and not pre-deciding the outcome before giving both sides an opportunity to be heard, the votes will be honest and true. Maybe not always in my favour, but valid, nonetheless.