Outgoing Council's Final Meeting
With the full cast of Rossland’s recently elected new city council in attendance Monday night, the outgoing council held their final meeting. There was a short agenda, including the third reading of the Good Neighbour Bylaw. The adoption of this bylaw was one of a number of achievements by the outgoing group, distributed in an attached list of achievements. The short meeting came to a close with the councillors reflecting on their time in office.
Closing out the legislative matters of the evening, Mayor Smith asked, “Laurie do you have any notices of motion that you would like to make?”
Councillor Charlton replied, “Well maybe I could get one in here. Squeeze in a last one.” Chuckles sounded around the table.
Steve Knox, in his final council report closed with, “Just a quick heartfelt thanks to all the staff. Unfortunately they are not here right now. Three years of hard work. Thank you to all of the team members that I’ve worked with over the last three years I’m going to miss most of you… All of you. It’s been good. Thanks to the community for putting up with our council. I’m very proud of this page and a bit of accomplishments, I will read it over and revel in it for at least two or three minutes before I forget everything. Thank you.”
Moving around the table, the re-elected Jill Spearn was visibly emotional in her final report, reflecting on the previous three years of service.
“I’m a little emotional about ending this term. It’s been quite an experience. I like to think, like Steve said, that we’ve accomplished an enormous amount in our three years, and it certainly has been a huge learning experience for me. I do look forward to working with the next council and hopefully taking my experience and knowledge and teamwork experience to the next council, and I’m going to miss the people around this table. Thank you very much to the staff who have been very accommodating to me when I’ve come in, welcoming and answering my questions. So… Here we are. Our last night.”
Councillor Larry Doell recalled fondly the bonds he has built with the other councillors during their tenure that he will miss.
“The last night eh? [Laughs] It’s been a great experience, and I’m rather fond of all you individuals in different aspects. I certainly wish the new council all the luck in the world with your new responsibilities and hopefully you stand back and look at the bigger picture and agree to disagree and enjoy each others company because despite all the disagreements I’ve taken home at times, I must say I’m fond of all of these councillors. It’s been a great life experience, and we have accomplished a lot. There’s a lot more to accomplish but obviously it’s an ongoing process, so thanks very much for the opportunity to let me sit at this table. I have great memories.”
Proud of the community plans that this council has put in place, Councillor Jackie Drysdale advised the new council that the real work now comes in executing the plans that have been put together.
“There are just three things that I wanted to comment on in terms of the last three years and one is that the community planning is in place, and it’s huge. It’s big, it’s important for everybody, and I just think that the challenge is ahead. We’ve got the sustainability commission, and I think that’s great, but I think the prioritizing and the action is going to be the challenge and keeping in mind the balance of the three cornerstones of sustainability. It will be a challenge to our next council. My hat is off to the administrator and to the staff of the corporation of Rossland. I think we’ve been served very well given the extreme learning curve of how many new people are in place at the senior management level and I just hope that with the trust and the support of the incoming council that they will continue to serve the community very, very well. Finally I just wanted to say best wishes to our new council in Rossland and in anticipation of all of the effort that you are going to give on behalf of the community of Rossland, I wish you well.”
Echoing the previous councillors statements Councillor McLellan again was thankful of the city’s staff. “I’d also like to thank the staff also for their support but especially I’d like to thank this council for their support they’ve given me in dealing with the issues at the Regional District. We were pretty united, and I thank you for that.”
Mayor Smith got in the last word, summing up his thoughts and thanks to the community for their work to make Rossland a better place. With emotions nearly showing through, Smith concluded his term saying,
“You will see the list of accomplishments from 2005 to 2008. Staff put this together when they were sitting around in a meeting and reflecting on the term and how much work has gone into it. I haven’t had an opportunity to read it yet, but we’ve been busy. I think that there’s a lot of accomplishments. I said early on in the term that leadership was about taking the blame and sharing the praise so…I’m sorry for our mistakes and wish we didn’t have any but that’s the way it goes but there’s lots of praise to be shared.”
“Certainly amongst the community groups that have supported our schools, the Rotary Club, the PAC, the Legion, a bunch of other service clubs. They all contribute to our sense of community and well being. Council had a lot of help in accomplishing what we did in terms of committees. We had the Design Review Panel, the Streetscapes Committee, the Miner’s Hall Task Force, the Visions to Actions Steering Committee and the Visions to Action Sustainability Commission all supporting us and serving the community and behind all of that was a huge wealth of committee volunteerism.”
“At all sorts of levels it really provided a lot of positive energy for me to see that and see that sustained and accomplish so many great things at so many different levels. Obviously Ron my heartfelt thanks to you and your accomplishments and I wish that senior staff was here because they’ve been great to work with. Hats off to council as well. I know it’s been a very busy three years. Thank you and to the new council thank you for taking this on. It’s going to be a lot of work. It’s very rewarding. You are inheriting a great staff here and a great framework to move forward, and I know that you will do everything that you can to make the most of that so congratulations and good luck–and we can close the meeting.”
Rossland’s new city council will hold their first official meeting on December 8th.