It has been almost 3 months since I was sworn in as a West Vancouver councillor, and I’d like to provide you with an update.
As you can imagine, I have been busy getting to know my new colleagues at Municipal Hall, learning about the processes and procedures that guide our governance, and getting acquainted with projects that are underway or upcoming.
On January 20th, our staff presented a budget for 2012 which anticipated a 1.74% property tax increase for residents. On February 6th, a motion was passed directing staff to return to Council with a budget that reflected a 0% property tax increase. And on February 20th, Council approved this refined budget. My decision to support the majority was based on practicalities more than ideologies. In my mind, the reductions that were made to achieve zero weren’t unduly harsh, and amounted to less than $1 million dollars in an $82 million dollar operating budget. Over the next year, as Co-Chair of the Finance Committee I hope to help facilitate the implementation of a Core Services Review, a Strategic Planning session, and a more strategic budget analysis process for Council, all of which will provide a useful framework to approve next year’s budget.
I have also been following up on one of my campaign promises: to broaden community engagement. I have updated my website, including a list of 2012 Council meeting dates and Shaw TV coverage, and will be giving periodic updates via brief Blog posts that will be pushed out though various social media. So please follow me on Twitter, friend me on facebook, or connect with me on LinkedIn.
I look forward to hearing from you over the next three years, and again thank you for your interest and support.
…and yes, I am enjoying myself.