May 11, 2015
The first part of our term has been busy, and the last three weeks have been no exception.
Councillor Boot, Peake, myself and our CAO Linda Tynan all attended the Southern Interior Government Association (SILGA) conference in Kamloops from April 29th to May 1st. This is a regional government conference where resolutions from municipalities and Regional Districts are forwarded to the Union of British Columbia Municipality conference in September. There were some excellent seminars plus opportunities for discussions, relationship building and networking. As a new Mayor I found this very valuable.
May 2nd two special events took place. First, I brought greetings for the District of Summerland to the South Okanagan Boundary Labour celebrations at Gyro Park. I stood with our MLA Dan Ashton, and Mayor Andrew Jackebuite. The event was well attended and focussed on the successes of the Labour Movement over the decades.
The second event was the selection of our new Royalty at the 45th annual Blossom Pageant. As Mayor I opened the evening’s events and presented gifts to our very successful retiring royalty, Miss Summerland Taylor Arkestyn, Princesses Julia Belmonte and Makenzie Vandertoolen and Miss Congeniality Brianna Ure.
Of course at our opening this evening I had the opportunity to swear in our new Summerland Royalty. Congratulations again ladies and we wish you every success in your activities over the next year as you represent Summerland.
I also attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board monthly meeting on the 5th. Discussions revolved around our snow pack, which for our area runs about 76% of normal, but some areas such as the Island is running at 15% of normal. In addition we discussed the need for border inspection at all border crossings to keep on the watch for the very destructive and invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels. These invasive species will cause millions of dollars’ worth of damage to water based infrastructure. I would urge the provincial government to protect British Columbia with a much more serious commitment.
Other events that I and Councillors attended were the annual Health and Safety Breakfast at Public Works. All I can say to staff is please continue to work safely.
In addition, I attended the regular RDOS board meeting with Councillor Boot, and on Saturday the 9th I attended the final event for NeighbourLink at Summerland Senior’s Village. Kudos to this tremendous organization and their work at making life better for Summerland citizens.
And lastly, I looked in on our Emergencies Services Saturday morning workshop. Watching the effort, I came away feeling pleased with our abilities and capacity to deal with emergency situations. Congratulations are due to our Fire Chief, our ESS Coordinator John Topham, his volunteers, and all the residents that gave of their time to make this event a success.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
April 27, 2015
The last two weeks seemed to have whipped by with a large number of key community events.
It started with a highly successful Sadie Fundraiser at Zia’s –it was packed, the food was excellent as usual. I don’t know the exact amount but considerable funds were raised for Sadie through the silent and live auction, and the contribution of the meal cost by ZIA’s. The live auction was led by our talented and exuberant Marty Van Alphen, a fun and excellent event for Sadie.
On Monday the 20th, I along with several councillors, attended the excellent anti-bullying presentation at the Lakeside in Penticton given by Barbara Coloroso. It is a terribly difficult problem and not easily solved.
As most of you know, last week was Earth Week. Busy probably does not cover the number of events adequately. I believe there at least 11 events. My wife Claire and I attended the taking out the Olives event- at PARC – an invasive species that has run rampant.
In addition I attended the Philosopher’s café – Henry Micheals, a First Nations knowledge keeper presented, as did our own Don Gayton – biologist and writer.
In addition Trails BC held their AGM at the IOOF hall – reps from around the province were there. I was pleased to be able to make the introductory remarks welcoming the conference to Summerland.
On a more somber note- Our long time employee at public works, Gary Williams passed away recently. The celebration of life will take place tomorrow at the Providence funeral home at 10:00am.
Also April 28th has been designated a National Day of Mourning for workers, families, employers, and others to come together to remember those who have lost their lives on the job.
April 13, 2015
First I am delighted to introduce our new Chief Administrative Officer Linda Tynan, who joined us at the end of March. Linda comes to us with an impressive list of credentials. She was recently the CAO for Nakusp, prior to that the Chief Financial Officer for Nelson and is also a certified general accountant. In addition she has been the Chief Executive Officer for the Kootenay School of the Arts. It has been a whirlwind of introductions to staff at a special BBQ organized by Karen Jones and chief cook Rick Leardo. Also, I gave her a tour of Summerland from one end to the other, including a special roadside seminar of tree fruit horticulture.
During the past three weeks since our last council meeting we have had an excellent council team building session led by facilitator Dan Dinsmore on Saturday March 28th.
In addition, two select committees have been active. One a select committee on the OCP composed of Councillor Boot, Councillor Trainer and myself, with recommendations coming forward to council soon. The second select committee concerned with restructuring our committees, composed of Councillor Peake, Councillor Holmes and myself. The first set of recommendations will come forward tonight with the recommended list of Cultural Task Force members and the terms of reference. This task force will formulate a cultural plan in collaboration with arts and culture groups in the community. The cultural plan is critical, as arts and culture are a key pillar in Council’s four pillar strategic plan.
Council also had a special meeting with our new school district board led by Board Chair Linda Van Alphen. This was an introductory meeting to be followed by more strategic meetings in the future.
April is Daffodil month and is the Canadian Cancer Society’s national fundraising campaign. There are not too many people that have not been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly. Wear your daffodil to show your support.
April is also National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness month. Right now there are 465 British Columbians waiting for a transplant. 326 transplants were performed in 2014. If you would like to be an organ donor, please go online to www.transplant.bc.ca.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
March 23, 2015
The last two weeks have been active to say the least. One of the main focuses for council has been the development of our strategic plan, which consumes a large part of tonight’s agenda. This is council’s focus for this year and beyond. We have added a forth pillar “cultural vibrancy”. Council feels strongly that our drive to the future needs to reflect the depth and breadth of the cultural identity of Summerland. To that end a Cultural Task Force will be struck to formulate a cultural master plan for the community.
Another major effort of the last two weeks has been the review of amendments and proposed amendments to the OCP over the last six years. Council struck a select committee which has met a number of times for a considerable number of hours. This effort reflects the desire of the community to preserve our rural urban mix. The electorate provided this direction in the last election. Council will be bringing the results of these deliberations to the public in the near future.
Both of these major efforts are meant to spur economic activity, and to provide certainty and focus to the development community in Summerland.
All our efforts in these areas, with extensive budget deliberations over the last three months, plus an on ongoing examination of the advisory committees have been led very successfully by the stellar leadership of our interim CAO Tim Wood. Tim’s depth of experience has provided a seamless transition for a brand new council as we start our term. For me personally his kind, personable and thoughtful advice during his three month term has been invaluable.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
March 9th, 2015
The main event during the past two weeks was the Chambers 77th Annual Business and Community Awards Gala. The dinner was excellent, Thor Clausen did a great job of auctioneering- and I had the pleasure of awarding the Mayor’s Award of Excellence to the Sister City Committee. Many community businesses received awards, but accolades go out to all those who participated. I would like to thank Christine Petkau and her staff for a wonderful and fun event.
On the 7th I attended the AGM of the Friends of the Summerland Research Gardens- excellent attendance – The gardens have always been a special place for tourists, Summerland residents, and indeed the whole Okanagan. It is kept beautiful, largely due to the host of hardworking volunteers.
I have also attended regular meetings of the RDOS and the OBWB as Summerland Council’s representative.
As a council we are finalizing our strategic plan for this year. Also a select committee of council is reviewing our Official Community Plan and will soon bring a report to council.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
February 23rd, 2015
This particular council meeting is somewhat of milestone. Each new council has aspirations for meeting public need, for accountability, and for transparency. This council is making some significant changes for open dialogue.
We decided to meld the Monday morning Committee of the Whole with our evening meeting to bring full discussion and questions for better public understanding. In addition we have provided for public input in our 15 minute period early in the meeting prior to votes on specific topics. As well the new procedural changes allow for public comment at the close of our meetings prior to adjournment. These opportunities for public participation are in addition to regular public comment where that is already a matter of regular procedure.
Existing and new committees are in the process of being set up with the terms of reference being largely driven by those tasked to participate.
We hope that these changes will help us reach our goals.
A phrase I heard recently covers our approach- “if you want to go fast, go alone,” “If you want to go far, go together”
As well over the past two weeks, I have been involved with council in strategic planning, district budget plans for 2015, as well as Regional District budget, planning and regular meetings. I also met with our RCMP detachment commander Sergeant Stephane Lacroix- we will be meeting monthly so we can maintain a good dialogue.
Lastly as most of you know there was a flooding emergency at SADI, it has been resolved for the short term and we will be looking for long term solutions to meet the needs of SADI and Summerland’s youth.
Mayor, Peter F. Waterman
Monday, January 26th, 2015
Since the last council meeting my schedule has been very active. Things started with an interesting business after business evening at the latest opening of a new business Rock Star Clothing, on the corner of Main Street and South Victoria. Its a great location and we wish them every success. This event was followed by yet another fascinating evening of the Conversation Caf. (by the way I do sincerely mean this), Barbara Thorburn and her committee do an incredible job of finding very interesting speakers. The speaker was Danielle Krysa. She is a returned Summerlander a challenging writer and artist.
The balance of the period was a series of meetings, including interviews for a new CAO for the District of Summerland, where we are getting very close to finding a successor to Mr. Day. In addition, Council has been busy in our own budget deliberations, and Councillor Boot and myself, have attended a series of Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen regular meetings, budgets meetings and planning sessions.
And last, but certainly not least, I was extended an invitation to attend the Legion, Robbie Burns dinner, I had my first serving of Haggis with all the pageantry of bagpipes, and drums plus very entertaining renditions of Robbie Burn poetry, and blessing the Haggis. I had a generous serving of Haggis and will go back for more next year. It was a full house, and the food was outstanding.
One final, rather sad note, was the passing of Ollie Olaf Norman Norum on December 31st. I attended a celebration of life at the Legion on January 22nd. Lots of good stories, many of us remember Ollie as a fixture of downtown he added colour to our town. A bench will be funded in his memory at gofundme.com/Ollie Bench or donations may be made at the Credit Union, his friend Steve Haaf took care of all the arrangements.
Mayor Peter F. Waterman
January 12, 2015
It has been a busy start to our term. One of our biggest snowfalls occurred January 4th and 5th. Crews were kept very busy, there were some complaints but by and large residents realized that crews did their utmost with some equipment breakdowns. Anybody who has run a farm or heavy equipment business realizes that despite constant maintenance equipment still goes down with heavy use. In addition Trout Creek residents had difficulties, in future as snowfalls reach approximately 4-6 inches, collectors and bus routes will be done as quickly as possible just like the other areas in town.
The electrical surge that happened in late November, hit homeowners in the Front Bench and Trout Creek areas very hard. A public open house was held January 6th. Public concerns were aired and staff explained the issue with the available information, a further Special Council Meeting will be held January 27th. Our Corporate Officer Maureen Fugeta will have more to say a little later.
I attended a special workshop of the Local Immigration Partnership Council January 7th- it was very informative, focussing on efforts to integrate new immigrants into the work place and generally to our society.
Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Coates will be leading our budget discussions starting January 21st, January 26th, January 28th, and February 2nd.
Councillor Boot and I have had several meetings of the RDOS board where we have just started budget discussions.
As you know Tom Day, our CAO, has just retired after doing a stellar job for Summerland.
Now I would like to introduce Tim Wood, a retired CAO who comes to us as our Interim CAO. Tim comes highly recommended. He will be leading us through a seamless transition as we move to hire a new full time CAO.
Mayor Peter Waterman
December 8, 2014
Our first week started December 1st with our inauguration. Official photos were taken where we were flanked by the RCMP in their Red Serge, and a swearing in with his honour Judge Koturbash. The pageantry with our families attending, made the whole ceremony a great honour. We were also happy to see our MLA Dan Ashton come forward and shake the new Councillors hands and wish us well as we started our new term.
The new Councils orientation started November 26th, with an all-day session with governance expert George Cuff, followed by an excellent session on legal responsibilities with the law firm of Fulton and Company of Kamloops, who specialize in municipal law Monday December 1st.
The calamitous snowstorm of November 25th /26th wreaked havoc for many home owners and had a major impact on many peoples electrical service with disastrous effects on appliances, furnaces, etc.
Staff will have a more thorough explanation in tonight's agenda.
Crews were busy twenty four hours straight plowing and cleaning up.
It was a very difficult time for Summerland residents, but I sincerely applaud our municipal staff for an exceptional response in a severe situation.
Mayor Peter Waterman