My first full year as Mayor of our quaint community was both rewarding and trying. The balance between considering all parties’ individual interests and the Village’s mandatory obligations is complex and challenging. Personally for me, the largest challenge was the Conflict of Interest. In a small community, based heavily on logging as the main economic driver, there will always be some level of conflict. Government legislation does not allow for any leeway whether the issue is financial, employment, volunteer or familial connections. This becomes more apparent in a small community as opposed to a city due to our inter-connectedness.
Three members of Council were found to be in Conflict of Interest around a rezoning application in the Industrial Park. This required a ruling from the BC Supreme Court for Council to be allowed to make a decision. This decision was appealed and a second BC Supreme Court decision upheld the original one. I found the process difficult and did my best to try and insure that the experience did not divide the community.
The nice part is Council has come together and found a balance to move things forward. We have been successful with a number of grant applications and expect some significant progress on projects to happen in 2016 – the first of which is the biomass project which went live in March 2016.
We are fortunate to have dedicated management and employees in the Port Clements Village Office. This has made the job of Mayor much easier and I am grateful we have such competent people looking after our community. It has been my privilege to be your Major in 2015.