May 2019 was without a doubt, my busiest month so far on Town Council. I had a total of 23 different meetings/events scheduled and only missed one due to a time conflict. That is slightly more than double the number I have seen monthly so far in the beginning of this term in office. Also, there were a number of ‘firsts’ for me and Town Council in the past month. I’ll try to break it down for you a little better.
I attended the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) 2019 Convention in Penticton (my first). It started late in April and ran to early this month. In addition to several guest speakers and workshops, there were plenty of opportunities to socialize and get to know other elected officials. A few of the ‘breakout’ sessions I attended included:
Downtown Revitalization Walking Tour
Building A Sustainable Responsible Tourism Destination
Engaging Youth In Local Government
I also had the pleasure to meet three-time Team Canada Winter Paralympics Gold Medalist Sonja Gaudet. She competed in wheelchair curling in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Paralympics. As Accessibility Awareness is one of my portfolios, I spent some time discussing this issue with her.
Regular Town Council Meetings
There were two Regular Meetings of Town Council as well as a few others. Our Regular Meetings were Monday, May 6 and Tuesday, May 21. The May 6 meeting was preceded by our first Public Hearing of this term. The Public Meeting that followed was the first to be ‘live streamed’ over the internet on the Town of Princeton website.
On Monday, May 13 we had our first-ever Special Meeting of Town Council and on Tuesday, May 28 there was a Committee of the Whole meeting where the KVR Mixed Use Trail Select Committee presented their recommendations to Town Council.
This was the part of my calendar that was heavier than usual. In addition to my regular committee meetings, I had a couple that took me out of town. There were also a few ‘new’ meetings to me. Here is the breakdown:
Thursday, May 9 – Rotary/Chamber Parade Meeting
Tuesday, May 14 – 3:00 PM SVPS AGM, LSIB Office, Cawston
Tuesday, May 14 – 6:00 PM Rotary/Chamber Parade Meeting
Tuesday, May 14 – 7:00 PM KVR Mixed Use Select Committee *
Wednesday, May 15 – Princeton Arts Council
Thursday, May 16 – 10:00 AM Interagency Meeting *
Thursday, May 16 – 5:30 PM Princeton Museum
Tuesday, May 21 – Princeton Health Care Steering Committee
Wednesday, May 22 – Okanagan Library Board Meeting, Kelowna *
Thursday, May 23 – Pickleball/Tennis User Group Meeting
Wednesday, May 29 – Princeton Posse AGM (conducted Election of Officers) *
Thursday, May 30 Town Council met with RCMP Sgt. Robert Hughes, Cpl. Chad Parsons and Superintendent Ted DeJager to discuss various issues and matters of mutual concern.
(* denotes meeting attended alone. All other meetings include members of Town Council and Staff).
I have also participated in a handful of events that I would not call a meeting but did involve my attendance in my official capacity as Town Councillor. They included:
Saturday, May 4 – ATVBC Face-To-Face/Trade Show, Princeton Arena
I was a guest speaker at this event. I presented a historic piece on the history of railways in BC and titled it, “Getting Railroaded – BC's Railway Politics.”
Tuesday, May 7 – KVR Mixed Use Select Committee – Public Consultation, Princeton Library
Monday, May 20 – Keremeos Elks Rodeo Parade, Keremeos
The Mayor and I rode in our first-ever parade as elected officials. I have been in parades in the past. I was in a Kelowna Regatta Parade in the 1970s on a float that the radio station I worked at had entered. In the late 1980s I rode in the Princeton Racing Days Parade while I was Racing Days President.
Oh, and Brenda and I were in the Tonasket Founders Day Rodeo Parade one year as an entry with the Similkameen News Leader.
Wednesday, May 29 – Princeton Museum Job Interviews *
I assisted with the job interviews to fill a total of four summer job positions at the local Museum. I had conducted part of the same job interview process last year while sitting as Museum President.
Talk About Being Busy
Yup, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t quite expect this past month to be so hectic. However, what really helps me is the knowledge that Town Council is working as a team and we have the support of Staff in Town Hall. It also helps to know that the effort we are putting into our roles as elected officials is to make our community a better place to be for all of us.
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.