I’d like to begin by sincerely thanking the citizens of Lacombe for the confidence they have shown in me by re-electing me as mayor of the City of Lacombe.
I will continue to work hard and provide positive leadership for the next four years.
I would like to welcome back our incumbent council members – Reuben Konnik, Wayne Rempel and Peter Bouwsema – for another term, and I also want to extend a warm welcome to three new councillors – Grant Harder, Bill McQuesten and Wayne Armishaw.
There’s a lot of work to be done, and challenges to meet, but I have faith that we can overcome any obstacles by working together as a council, and with our dedicated staff and volunteers, for the betterment of our community.
It has been a busy start to this new term for council and City administration, as we move ahead with initiatives begun last term, and begin the all-important budgeting process for the year ahead.
The draft 2014 capital and operation budgets will be presented to Council for discussion on Nov. 25.
It will then be presented to the public for feedback at an open house on Nov. 27 which everyone is encouraged to attend and provide input.
Subsequent to your comments, council will determine if any changes are to be made, and then will vote on the final budget at their last regular meeting in December.
In other news, I am pleased to announce that the City of Lacombe has launched Echo Energy, a municipally-owned energy retail business available to Lacombe and area residents.
Those who sign up will not only receive a competitive fixed electricity rate; they will be helping to grow our community by shopping local for their power needs.
Echo Energy will deposit proceeds from energy sales directly into the Echo Lacombe Community Fund.
This innovative fund has been established to provide funding support for local projects, in order to improve the quality of life for residents.
To find out more and to sign up, please visit www.echoenergy.ca.
Finally, I would like to encourage everyone to join us from Nov. 28-30 at the annual Light Up the Night Festival.
This event has grown into a three-day extravaganza that captures all of the tradition, heritage and charm of a good old fashioned prairie Christmas Festival.
The festival continues to grow in size and scope every year, with fantastic new events being added to existing attractions like the Tim Horton’s Santa Claus Parade, Tree Lighting Ceremony, Christmas Farmer’s Market, Moonlight Madness, a fireworks display and real-live reindeer, all to help kick off the holiday season!
Also during this festival, we are inviting everyone down to MEGlobal Athletic Park in an attempt to eclipse the record for the largest human Christmas tree.
We will need all hands on deck on Nov. 29 as we try to get 1,000 people assembled into a distinctive tree shape.
Come out, join the fun and help us show the whole world our holiday spirit!
I also encourage everyone to check out the deals on offer at the many shops, boutiques, and restaurants during Moonlight Madness. Please shop local. A thriving retail sector is the lifeblood of a sustainable community and we need to support our local businesses so that Lacombe as a whole can flourish.
Steve Christie is the mayor of Lacombe.