This past month (October 2019) has been a heavy one for me. I had a total of 19 scheduled events/meetings on my calendar and ended up missing 3 of them due to time conflicts. Here is a quick breakdown of my month of meetings:
Regular Public Meetings
October 1 – Committee of the Whole
October 7 and 21 – Town Council
October 9 – Princeton Arts Council AGM (conducted the Election of Officers)
October 15 – Princeton Health Care Steering Committee, PGH
October 17 – Princeton Museum (*)
October 1 – School Board
October 11 – Strategic Planning – Session #1, RockRidge Canyon
October 15 - Strategic Planning – Session #2, Town Hall
October 23 – Interior Health Authority Board Chair Doug Cochrane, PGH
October 28 and 29 – Budget Sessions, Town Hall
October 2 – Welcoming Dinner (School District Aboriginal Advisory Board), PSS Gym
October 16 – Pickleball User Group (*)
October 22 – Princeton Fall Fair AGM (conducted the Election of Officers) (*)
October 29 – Conservation Office Service, Town Hall
(* denotes meeting attended alone. All other meetings include members of Town Council and Staff).
Strategic Planning/Budgeting Sessions
For what is apparently the first time in recent history, Princeton Town Council and Staff started strategic planning sessions and financial budgeting in October. Last year it was in December. The sessions were long, involved and extensive. A full day of planning took place at RockRidge Canyon on October 11 where we took a look at what projects had been completed over the past year, which ones were yet to be completed and what projects we wanted to add into the budget for 2020.
The budgeting sessions were not nearly as long as the strategic planning dates were and we managed to complete a proposed financial plan by the evening of October 29. Highlights from the budget include a heavy chunk going towards various items that fall under the category of infrastructure. This includes equipment upgrades, new equipment for some departments and funding for ongoing projects.
One piece of equipment that will be a welcome addition is a line painting machine. This tool will permit the Town Crew to paint crosswalks and other road and parking lot features in spring annually. Currently these jobs are contracted out and Princeton ends up getting “fit in wherever there is time” and these lines don’t get done until later in the year. I think it is fair to say that the look of the current crosswalks downtown has disappointed all of us and it won’t likely happen again.
Another category that will see a lot of support in the 2020 budget is tourism and economic development. This will include a number of visual and marketing elements meant to promote the community and attract tourists. An extensive multi-layer approach will be used that will get the word out about the many year ‘round activities and attractions that can be found in this part of the Similkameen Valley.
Those are just a couple of key points I wanted to share with you about the direction of Town Council in 2020. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.