When I used to sit opposite of Town Council in my radio and newspaper reporting days I often wondered one thing. I used to try to imagine the juggling act that a full-time employed person or business owner would have to perform in order to be an effective member of a local government. I am getting a quick education on the demands of elected officials just four months into this term.
What I have learned is that the workload of meetings has to be fit into a schedule that also allows for work, family and personal time. Nobody said it was going to be easy but early on, I can see why a lot of retired or semi-retired individuals tend to be nominated and elected to represent their community. For me, my schedule is pretty flexible but a few years ago it would not have been.
As I am a full-time work-from-home entrepreneur, I’m usually quite capable of fudging my timelines to squeeze in last minute meetings. I also have two days a week that I have purposely designated as being reserved for personal time. It gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with my wife and with friends. All of this is apart from my political life and has to be.
As for my daily workload, it really depends on the particular job I am working on. As a full-time freelance writer/ghostwriter, all of my work activities are exclusively dealt with online. I have different deadlines for each and every project. Thanks to my radio/newspaper past, deadlines are something I’m rather good at working with. So, my work is never disturbed as a result.
This past month has given me an opportunity to work on defining my timelines a little better and I think I have done rather well with them. Here’s a review of what March 2019 was like for me:
Town Council Meetings
There were two regular meetings of Princeton Town Council. Monday, March 4 and Monday, March 18. Probably the big news items to come out of those meetings were the awarding of the new Landfill Contract and Curbside Pick-Up Contract. As far as I’m concerned, the real news from this month was the appointment of Lyle Thomas as our CAO. He had been filling the position as an Interim CAO since October.
My total meeting count for this month is down from last month at 13, plus 2 I had to cancel out of due to other conflicts. However, on three dates I managed to squeeze in two different meetings and still hit my deadlines for freelance jobs I have been working on as well on those dates. I also attended a total of two out of town meetings. Here is the complete breakdown:
March 11 – Meet ‘n’ Greet with MLA Linda Larsen
March 11 – Special Meeting of Town Council
March 12 – Community to Community Meeting, USIB Head Office, Hedley
March 12 – KVR Select Mixed Use Trail Committee *
March 14 – School District 58 Meeting
March 14 – Chamber of Commerce AGM
March 19 – Princeton Health Care Steering Committee Meeting
March 20 – Princeton Arts Council *
March 21 – Princeton Museum AGM
March 22 – Princeton GSAR Meeting, Princeton Airport
March 27 – Tour of David E. Kampe Tower, Penticton Hospital *
(* - attended alone. All other meeting included other members of Town Council)
It’s not often that I can take my wife, Brenda along for a meeting or event. The Princeton Museum AGM provided a short social hour prior to the meeting where Brenda got to visit with a few close friends and casual acquaintances before the business portion of the meeting began. We tend to forget that our ‘partner’ is also part of our political life and I’m trying to include Bren in things I think she’ll find interesting and enjoy.
What I liked most about the Museum AGM was that I had an opportunity to speak briefly as the past President on a number of highlights from my less-than-a-year in the Chair prior to getting elected to Princeton Town Council. My first mention was the volunteers. I know the price they pay in our community working hard to keep their facility vibrant. I also got to conduct the Election of Officers. It was a great evening enjoyed by all in attendance.
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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.