Saturday, October 4, 2014

Round 2 ...

As we prepare for the next civic election and a new four year term, every incumbent elected official has to ask themselves a few questions. First, what have I/we accomplished over the last three years? Really, this is about the effectiveness and ability of the individual and their council group to accomplish their objectives. The second question we need to ask ourselves is – can we do better? Well, I do believe that much has been accomplished in the three years since this council took office. Some immediate wins of note would be; the purchase of the Regional Airport, Phase One and Two of the Downtown Plan were implemented and council has the blessing of the electorate now to move ahead with the construction of a new pedestrian/utility bridge across the Columbia. Initiatives still awaiting completion as we head into the next four year term are; the finalization of the inter-municipal agreement on the bridge construction, the Boundary Expansion at Waneta into the Industrial Park and  the Economic Development & Tax Agreement with Teck. During the past three years the City has also taken some other progressive steps forward by revamping our website, launching a Facebook and Twitter presence as well as engaging with the community at local events through our public information booth. Our technological leap forward in the social media realm is overseen by Andrea Jolly (no relation) the City’s Community Promotions & Events Coordinator - a position that did not exist prior to this council term. Many would argue that these steps were overdue, and perhaps some of them were, but more importantly – they are now done.

In addition to the progress noted above, the City has spent a significant amount of time and effort engaged in regional negotiations that have been challenging to put it mildly. I do have renewed hope however that some of these regional issues are resolvable in the near term. We were heartened to finally reach agreement with Warfield on Recreation and Library funding for the immediate future and I am proud to have been a part of the negotiating team that brought the two communities back together. Some issues remain outstanding within the region that will come to the fore of this next council term .Chief among them would be a new Economic Development Services Agreement in the Lower Columbia and the composition of the service participants. Last but not least is the often discussed issue of amalgamation, which could spell the beginning of the end to these sub-regional squabbles if handled with the proper care and  attention it deserves.
The change we have experienced over the last three years in our city has been a long time coming and has been welcomed by most, but not all. It was and still is necessary though. If we wish to remain competitive and viable as a community that families wish to relocate to and call their home, we must accept the reality of the very competitive place we find ourselves in and adapt to a new way of community building. Simply put – we must embrace these changes, not fear them or pretend they don’t affect us.
There is much to consider as the world around us grows more complex by the day. New challenges regularly arise that local government must deal with and the cost of implementing new strategies and plans never goes down. This changing and evolving set of circumstances demands a creative type of leadership that looks forward to what we can accomplish and how. Investing in infrastructure is one of those priorities that is critical to the renewal of our city and should not be viewed as just another expense.  Community investment and renewal helps keep property values growing and has a positive impact on population growth for small communities. We must invest in our collective futures by building a community that we can proudly call home today, instead of hearkening back to a different era when the world was a different place and so was our place in it.

I sincerely believe Trail’s best days are still ahead of us. And we all need to believe that in order to make it a reality.  That is why I am running for re-election to Trail council. I look forward to meeting and talking with you over the next 40 days to hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve our great city.

Let’s move forward together Trail…

Kevin Jolly


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