|Mayor Chris Burger, City of Parksville
Year in Review
December 17, 2012
Honoured guests, members of Council, City staff and residents of the City of Parksville, I wish to take this opportunity to briefly highlight a few of our accomplishments in 2012.
Following the election in November 2011, Council and staff immediately started working on the five year financial plan, including the 2012 budget. This was followed by an updated strategic plan adopted in May which outlines the goals, objectives and initiatives the City intends to pursue in the next three years. The strategic plan may be viewed on the City’s website and we welcome your comments.
This month we completed the 2013-2017 budget deliberations and my thanks to staff for their initiative to expand on Council’s direction, delivering a 2013 operating budget below 2012 expenditure levels, in spite of inflation and the need to absorb a 2.5% increase in wages. As well, staff provided a positive accumulated surplus balance through the twenty year financial plan which included incorporating the City’s updated capital plan for core service infrastructure renewal.
Staff continues to work towards new ways of providing services more effectively and more efficiently. The services provided by the City are those which impact the daily lives of our residents; services such as annual road repairs and resurfacing, among many others are ways the City serves its residents. The McMillan Street upgrade was completed in May, the railway crossings were upgraded and design for the Temple Street upgrade planned for 2013 is well underway.
To date, there have been a total of 62 meetings held; 31 Council meetings with 371 resolutions passed, 22 closed Council meetings with 48 resolutions passed, nine Committee of the Whole meetings and six budget deliberation meetings (three in the spring and three this fall), 18 bylaws adopted, three new policies approved and 14 policies repealed. Town hall Council meetings were held at Ballenas Secondary School and Knox United Church.
We listened to our business community and we are our proud of the recently signed memorandum of understanding with the Parksville Downtown Business Association, only the second one in British Columbia.
Our City continues to change and evolve. In 2012, we considered new developments such as Save on Foods, Canadian Tire, Quality Foods and proposed housing developments. Construction of the Oceanside Health Centre is well underway and in the fall, Family Place opened offering a variety of health, wellness and education services for Parksville residents. I’m anxious to see the completion of the Nichols Park project, possible through our partnership with the students of the Ballenas Civic Action Group.
Following a recently completed safety review of the Arrowsmith Dam, it was determined that the dam is being operated and maintained in a diligent manner. The reservoir is at seasonal level and there is already two feet of snow in the watershed for next year’s water needs. Regarding the Englishman River Water Service, the water treatment pilot study determined that membrane treatment is best suited for the Englishman River water source and that a side inlet type intake will be the best for the river. The aquifer storage and recovery feasibility study is well under way with five monitoring wells installed in the Kaye Road area to monitor the results of the water storage tests scheduled for this coming summer and ERWS staff continue to work through the senior government regulatory process.
The OCP update continued through 2012 with planning staff now working on an intensive review of the draft plan materials. Early in the new year, we will be seeking further public input.
The Parksville Fire Department held a successful recruitment campaign in 2012 and continues to provide exemplary service to the residents of the Parksville fire protection area.
I am particularly proud of our public works staff in the fine job they did in hosting this year’s public works open house event. The City received a first place national award and also earned the top provincial recognition for this great event.
Once again, it was a busy year with events and activities. Council participated in Bike to Work Week, held the second Mayor for A Day contest during Youth Week and hosted Michelle Stilwell Day on September 23 when Michelle was presented with the first key to the City and honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
During the past year, I have attended the meetings of numerous community groups and organizations to speak and answer questions on a variety of City initiatives, have visited schools and met with and responded to hundreds of questions from residents.
I wish to emphasize how much Council values community input, participation and communication. We now have a new Council Advisory Committee which met for the first time, earlier this month. Meetings are now live streamed, archived and meeting highlights are added to the website following the meeting. Coffee with Council continues to be popular and we continue to engage the community through social media – to receive feedback and hopefully broaden everyone’s participation in local government.
On behalf of Council and as your Mayor, we look forward to the next two years of our mandate and to the many more good things we will accomplish. And, we look forward to celebrating our achievements together.
Chris R Burger
Mayor, City of Parksville