June 7, 2016
by Al Christensen, Reeve
I would like to thank a ratepayer from Alberta for the e-mail asking if I intend to continue posting this blog. I needed to go to our website and was surprised that the last post was January 2016. We spent February and March wintering in warmer climes and it doesn’t seem that we have caught up since we got home. I apologize for my tardiness.
Having said that, this is probably MY last post, as I will not be seeking re-election in July. The next Reeve may continue this blog, or let it expire.
I would like to review some of the changes that have occurred since I ran for election in the fall of 2006. During that election I stated that the only communication that I received from the municipality was a tax bill with a small financial statement letting me know how they spent my tax dollars the year before.
After that election, we had a council with 4 brand new people (out of 6) who were new to municipal affairs. During the next few years we began to expand our communications with a website, and a newsletter that accompanied the tax bill as well as the financial details. When the web site was launched I tried to post a blog just after each monthly council meeting. Those blogs continued on a reasonably regular basis for many years.
After the last election four years ago, council with the aid of administration and an outside consultant began work on a strategic plan. When this plan was completed it contained five pillars, with the first one being Communications.
Council and Administration has worked together to provide a re-designed website, prepare an annual information package that is sent out with the tax notice, regular information in each issue of the Vacationland News, newsletters emailed to all ratepayers who sign up, (the newsletter signup is on the home page of this website just below the calendar) as well as our annual information meeting at the Christopher Lake Legion Hall. This year it will be held on July 9th at 11:00 AM.
While we think we are doing a good job in the communications area, improvements can and will be made in the future. If you have an idea for improving this area, please email any staff or council member.
Also on the front page of our website under recent news, you will find a call for nominations. We joined the resort village section of the municipal elections act so we could hold elections when many more of our ratepayers were at the lake and able to vote compared to the old October elections. Under this legislation the Reeve and all members of council are up for election every four years, same as provincial and federal positions.
Persons considering any of these positions should realize that regular meetings of council are held every month (usually the third Monday lasting 6 – 8 hours), as well as several special meetings during the year. Each councillor will likely be asked to serve on 2 – 4 committees. The Reeve can expect to serve 30- 40 hours per month and council members 20 hours on average.
I would like to thank the ratepayers of Lakeland for allowing me to serve as Reeve for the last ten years. While there have been some bumps and bruises along the way, I have learned a lot and enjoyed the journey.