Three years ago, I told the community that I had invested my life in Rossland. I stand by that claim and add that, now Rossland, you have invested in me! A newly elected member of a city council commits to a very steep learning curve and much of the first term is spent in developing the foundational understanding required to be effective in the position. My learning curve was arguably steeper because I fulfilled the roles of two positions.
Rossland is a great place to raise a family. It’s really all round a great place to live! It’s not perfect, nothing is; but there are times that it’s darn close. Community decisions need to reflect protection of the difficult- to- define qualities that make Rossland so special.
We are fortunate that significant efforts involving substantial community engagement have yielded foundational guiding documents – the Strategic Sustainability Plan and its application in the Official Community Plan, and currently the updating of the Zoning Bylaw. These documents provide direction to the decision makers (city council) and are constantly referred to by staff as they make recommendations to council.
They are “living documents” meaning that they are not static but adaptable, in order to address the changing needs of the community. They allow the community to be proactive rather than reactive and they provide an assurance that the community will become what the community wants to be.
I have had the responsibility and the privilege of representing our community on the RDKB Board of Directors for the full duration of this council term. My intention from the outset was to improve Rossland’s relationship with the regional district and the other communities. I believe I have been successful in improving Rossland’s reputation and have achieved this through being respectful and openly willing to listen.
A municipal Director’s role is a balancing act. One must represent one’s own community but also act on behalf of the regional district as a whole. It is sometimes a challenge to find the compromise between the greater good of an individual community and the greater good of the region as a whole. Nonetheless, it is a challenge that is well worth the effort. Our local communities are intricately connected from their very beginnings. Our histories unite us. Our families and friendships unite us. Our employment opportunities unite us.
During these very challenging times when significant decreases in funding for social programs: education, health, arts & culture, and etc, and significant provincial downloading are forcing municipalities into greater responsibilities and causing greater burden on local property taxes, I believe that solutions can be found through cooperative partnerships. I believe solutions will be found by recognizing the interdependency of our local communities and discussing our needs respectfully and in good faith to build the necessary relationship of trust.
If I receive the good fortune to continue my position on council and on the regional district after the election, I will continue my conscious intention to improve relationships and unite our communities in common, beneficial agreements.
I live in Rossland with my husband, Lloyd Henderson, our 2 (almost adult) sons and our 2 loyal dogs. This is my children’s hometown. I have a mother’s passion to insure that the decisions made today, will allow our youth the choice of living their lives in this most wonderful corner of the world.