It is an honour to serve you as one of your new councillors. Thank you to those who voted for me and made it happen. Two months in, I have learned a great deal on many topics and I am enjoying the challenge. I have attended the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) conference in Calgary to be brought up to date on provincial issues affecting municipalities; I have joined both the Cochrane Library Board and the Rocky View Foundation (seniors housing); and have been briefed by town administration on projects and issues underway at the local government level.
At the last meeting, council unanimously approved the 2018 budget. I was thrilled to see we will be bringing on new members of RCMP and fire fighters who keep us all safe, a cost of living increase for our dedicated and talented town staff; new projects that address our local traffic issues; an increase in the tax rebate for low income seniors who qualify and own their own homes; funds to investigate appropriate transit solutions for Cochrane; a project to determine future use of town owned lands; and finally support to much needed programs such as Rocky View Regional Handibus, the Cochrane Public Library and Cochrane and Area Victim Services.
Community input will be needed on many projects in 2018. Early in the new year, we will be asking for residents to sit on a task force looking at the feasibility of transit. There will also be lots of opportunities for community members to participate as transit options are developed. In June, the report will come back to council with the options and a decision will be made as to the scenario that works best for Cochrane. Please get involved!
Cochranites are known for getting involved and volunteering to make Cochrane the best it can be. Thanks to all who volunteer with all the formal agencies and also informally who work hard at making a difference for our residents. Also, I hope this season you can find a way to assist your friends, neighbours and strangers who are suffering or in need of help. In closing, I want to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!
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