Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Week in the Life of a Councillor

For a bit of a change of pace this week, I thought that I would give an overview of the work that I did last week as a member of council.  It was a pretty typical week since this new council began, and you may be surprised at the number of meetings involved, and the range of topics covered.

Mondays are always busy.  We had a management committee meeting in the morning (the mayor, Councillor Cody, and I) where we review various upcoming items and determine their disposition, acting as a sort of first filter of council.  There was a general meeting with the Health Region, followed by Committee of the Whole and Executive, the regular meetings on non-Council meeting weeks.

Tuesday there was an Arts Board meeting - Councillor Miller and I have now been named as council representatives to the Arts Board, so that will be something that is new to both of us.

Wednesday the mayor, the city manager, and I met with Sask Housing, which I was asked to attend as a former chair of the housing committee.  Next came a meeting with PA Community Housing, which have proposed a new building in Ward 3, which they wanted to discuss.  And finally that day, the management committee met with the soccer association to discuss their agreement with the soccer centre.

Thursday the job was more social in nature - I brought greetings on behalf of the city to the annual general meeting of the Cancer Society.  This worked out well, as Andrea's Relay for Life team, the Studs and Peelers, has been asked to be the Honourary Chair for this year's Relay in June, so we were able to attend together, along with three other members of the team.  As this is something that has affected our family in many ways, it was an honour to attend on behalf of my council colleagues.

Friday evening was another opportunity to bring greetings - this time to the provincial meeting of TOPS groups from all over the province.  One thing that I've found consistently in this whole business of bringing greetings from mayor and council - the groups that are gathered are always appreciative of the effort that is made, whichever one of us shows up, and I always feel very welcomed.

Weekends are usually spent reviewing the agenda for next week, preparing this blog, and touring about to check on various locations that might have been identified as having issues.  I find that it's always helpful to see the actual problems on site, before raising them with staff or at council.

And of course, any day of the week I can expect phone calls from residents.  This week's calls included concerns about the potential effect of the city stopping leaf pick up, blocked catch basins, snow pushed up onto a boulevard, as well as an inquiry about the process to be followed for booking the river bank for an event.  I think that people often turn to their councillor with such questions and concerns, as we probably have a better idea of who to contact and where to start than the average resident.  And it's a part of the job that I enjoy - directly helping people.

So that was my week - or at least the city councillor part of it.  In between, I also finally risked taking the snow tires off the family vehicles, filed our income tax returns, went out for coffee a few times, and enjoyed the first beer of the season on our deck yesterday afternoon.

Here's hoping the warm weather lasts, the snow disappears without causing too much flooding, and council continues to function as well as it has been.

"If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be meetings." - Dave Barry

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