As 2018 moves forward with a new mayor and an almost completely new council for Lacombe, the leadership is optimistic about meeting the coming challenges head-on.
“I’m pleased with the progress that we have made,” said Mayor Grant Creasey, adding that recently first reading passed for the procedural bylaw. This opens the door to some changes in how council will operate during meetings, such as the introduction of live streaming and recorded votes.
“I’m pleased with the way that we’ve arrived at some positive changes there as far as moving towards live streaming of our meetings which will hopefully bring about accessibility to a great number of citizens.
“I think it’s unrealistic to expect people to attend in person – but for them to have the flexibility to be able to look at (meetings) online I think will be very well received. Time will tell, but it’s nice to at least have that opportunity,” he said.
“So that was a big one. Having recorded votes – because it was a promise of mine, certainly it was important to me. It’s an accountability issue, and my stance on that has not changed and I don’t expect it ever will.
“People deserve to know how their elected officials vote.”
That was also contained within that procedural bylaw which received first reading, he said.
“How can open government, and honest, forthright government not be a positive thing? It has to be,” he said, adding that the whole issue of greater financial accountability is also at the forefront of the City’s new governing body.
The results of last October’s municipal election showed an enormous desire for change in the City’s political direction with only one incumbent being re-elected.
Creasey said Lacombe wasn’t unique in that regard when one looks across the province.
At the last AUMA gathering, he said it seemed like a lot of the communities fell into one category either like Red Deer or Lacombe did – it was either pretty much a clean sweep like Lacombe, or like Red Deer with only slight changes.
Creasey is happy to see a more diverse council with members from various walks of life with fresh perspectives.
“Which is reflective of the population at large, and it’s the way it ought to be.”
New staffers at the City bring new strengths and skill sets to the mix as well – all of which bode well for the City’s future.
“I want to do a good job for the City, and I’ve certainly been enjoying my time here. I’ve been spending an awful lot of time at City Hall meetings with people, meeting with citizens and trying to address things that I have spoken about before. I will continue to operate that way.”
Ultimately, Creasey said it’s about listening and learning from each other as well. “The mayor, the councillors – nobody’s voice is more or less important than anybody else’s. It’s also about encouraging that input from everybody and making sure that everybody’s views are known.
“That’s certainly part of the mayor’s job.”
Creasey will be sharing more of his vision at the 2018 State of the City Address, which runs Jan. 24th at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The event is hosted by the City of Lacombe and the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling Monica Bartman at 403-782-4300 or emailing email@example.com.