Mayor of Slave Lake
Just like that you blink and another year is gone.
The years seem to simply go by faster and faster. This time of year is always quite busy for everyone, and my life is no exception to the rule.
By Christmas I am ready for a break from all of my jobs and in desperate need of some quality time with family.
This time of year is always a great opportunity to reflect on the year and try to determine if I actually accomplished anything, and luckily most years I feel I do.
2017 was a busy year for sure for the Region. In regards to the economy, we focused on growing tourism, took over the day-to-day operation of the Visitor Information Centre, and created a committee of local businesses and residents interested in driving tourism in the region. Looking back on the year, one of the highlights for me was the block party hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, at the Riverboat Daze Weekend, that saw the entire community come together. It was an amazing event and I am truly thankful to the organizers who busted their humps to make it happen.
I am excited to hear this event is happening again in 2018 and pumped for the outdoor-themed trade show they are hosting in the spring.
Looking at what we accomplished as a council this year, it was also great to see us finish up some projects and start some new ones. I finally feel like recovery is over and we are moving forward instead of trying to clean up the past. This year we invested in our roads and will be doing some work in the NE as soon as the snow melts in 2018.
With almost $400,000 investment in sidewalks we repaired a lot of risky areas and made it a lot safer to get around this community. Additionally, we forged ahead with projects that have and will continue to improve the quality of our drinking water and started upgrades that will result in better treatment of our waste and its effect on our environment.
Council, in 2017, advocated for health care, beach and park improvements, transportation for seniors, funding for projects, transportation upgrades and we recruited more physicians to this region.
We also worked to make our parks and facilities more accessible for residents. We invested in park upgrades that make them more accessible and have some exciting new amenities coming in 2018. We made the MRC more functional by adding a divider to the field house, air conditioning, storage improvements for user groups, and improvements to our ice surfaces, much of it paid for by grants we successfully obtained.
Equally exciting is that in 2017, residents, businesses, and council came together together and created a vision for the downtown that residents and visitors are going to enjoy.
We had an election that brought some great and committed people to council, in both the Town and the MD. Even more exciting is that I am 99.9 per cent positive we will sign new Intermunicipal and Fire Services agreements before the end of this year, which has been a mountain of work for both councils.
Although this is only a fraction of what we accomplished I am more excited about the fact that we continue to come together as a community.
The people of this region constantly inspire me to be a better leader, a more committed community member, and a stronger example of what it is to be a Canadian, a neighbour and a friend. I want to thank the Chief Twinn and Reeve Kerik who have been great leaders in this Region and possess the strength, commitment and vision necessary to continue to grow this Region.
I want to thank my council and our administration who work hard to made this year a success! I also want to say thank you to all our residents who have been with us every step of the way, offering guidance, input and support every step of the way.
I have no doubt 2018 will be another busy year for many. It’s encouraging to see growth in the economy, new companies coming to town and businesses hiring people. I hope everyone gets some much-needed quality time away with friends and family. I hope you take a moment to reflect on 2017 and recognize everything it brought to your life. Remember the great people we had to say goodbye to, and remember to be thankful for the people still here.
From my home to yours Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I am looking forward to an exciting and prosperous 2018 for the people of the Slave Lake Region!