In 2011 I put my name forward to represent our community as a Councillor with the Village of Anmore. It was an honour to be elected and it's been a privilege to represent the residents of Anmore for the past 3 years.
As you know, I have decided to not put my name forward for re-election.
My family commitments and focus have changed this year and while I have enjoyed working with residents and trying my best to represent their thoughts and views on council, I am no longer able to commit the time and energy I feel this position needs. The Village has seen a lot of change in recent years and I've worked hard to contribute to discussions that have resulted in successful fiscal, environmental and community based decisions.
Over this term I have pushed for earlier and more thorough financial planning. We now hold finance meetings year-round and work to have our budget ready by January of each year so that residents, staff and council have more time to review. I've also supported an increase of funds for capital asset replacement and a financial sustainability plan so residents and council are aware of the needs and challenges ahead. Thank you to residents Mark Roberts and Nick Cheng for your valuable contributions as residents to our Finance Committee.
This term was a planning term for council and we've seen the creation of a new Official Community Plan, a Parks Plan, a better Strategic Planning process, and a Financial Sustainability Plan. The Village was lacking in long term planning when I arrived on council and am proud of our council as a whole for recognizing this and working hard to fill in some much needed gaps.
I had made several commitments to residents around improved environmental protections. Through public consultation and committee work, the new OCP has touched on several environmental enhancements, including an up to date watercourse map that has identified key areas for Riparian Area Protection (RAR). These changes are meant retain Anmore's rural features and guide development in a responsible way. Moving forward council will need to implement changes to the zoning and building bylaws that further enhance environmental efforts.
The Advisory Planning Committee, which I was council liaison for, did a tremendous job balancing the thoughts and opinions of many and made solid recommendations towards the creation of our new Official Community Plan. Thank you to Bob Devlin (Chair), Kim Morden, Garnet Berg, Karen Palmer, Denny Arsene, Mark Roberts and Patrick Hurley for working so hard as our appointed APC members.
As Chair of our Environment committee, I am proud of the work our committee members did to identify invasive plant management as an issue in the Village and address a "growing" knotweed problem. The committee has tried for many years to push for better watercourse mapping and with the new OCP we have seen significant improvements. Thank you to Coleen Hackinen, Grace Bergman, Ann Marie Oktaba, Alex Stein and Michael Barnes for your contributions to the Environment Committee, it's been a pleasure working with you all.
The past 3 years on council have been a tremendous learning experience and one that I have put my heart and energy into. The Village of Anmore staff have been a tremendous support and my council colleagues have brought depth and variety to council discussions that has meant we've sometimes struggled to make decisions, but also made some solid progress forward for the Village of Anmore. Mayor Anderson, Councillors' McEwen, Palmer-Isaak and Thiele, thank you for your hard work and dedication, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors as representatives of Anmore, School District 43 and in all your personal pursuits.
For those that are interested, I will continue to be involved in Mossom Creek Hatchery (Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society), my local schools, and other community endeavours. I encourage you to speak up about issues that are important to you, get activity in areas where you can share your passion and skills, and enjoy all that the Village of Anmore has to offer.
Thanks again for all of your support and for entrusting me with the important position of Councillor for the past 3 years.
There is a LOT changing about Anmore solid waste and recycling this August 1st! This information should help you navigate Anmore's new system for Recycling, Organics (Kitchen Scraps) and Garbage.
If you have any questions, please let me know and I will do my best to find an answer for you.
DID YOU KNOW?
AFTER TOMORROW (JULY 28, 2014) GARBAGE & RECYCLING SERVICES WILL NO LONGER BE ON MONDAYS.
EVERY HOME IN ANMORE SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED A:
- GREEN BIN
- GARBAGE BIN
- SMALL KITCHEN CATCHER COMPOST BIN (to help you transport your kitchen scraps from the kitchen to your green bin)
- NEW LIGHT BLUE BOX FOR GLASS ONLY RECYCLING (continue to use your blue box and bags for regular recycling pick up)
You can start using your green bin by filling it with kitchen scraps today, just don't put the green bin out until Friday, August 1st!
STARTING FRIDAY, AUGUST 1ST:
- RECYCLING AND ORGANICS (green bin kitchen scraps) will be picked up each and EVERY FRIDAY.
- GARBAGE (all the stuff left over, which shouldn't be much!) WILL BE PICKED UP EVERY 2nd FRIDAY.
** A Calendar can be found here. To help you out with your first month, here's what it says:
Friday, August 1st :
put out your recycling and organics (green bin) ONLY, No Garbage!
Friday, August 8th:
put out garbage, recycling and organics (green bin), Everything
Friday, August 15th:
put out your recycling and organics (green bin) ONLY, No Garbage!
Friday, August 22nd:
put out garbage, recycling and organics (green bin), Everything
Friday, August 29th:
put out your recycling and organics (green bin) ONLY, No Garbage!
GREEN CART TIPS:
- Using a green cart will reduce your garbage significantly and is part of Metro Vancouver's Zero Waste initiative.
- Please make sure this cart is secured in a locked garage or shed that is animal proof so that it does not attract wildlife.
- Consider placing newspaper or other "brown" (dry materials) in the bottom to help keep your bin clean.
- Your bin can be used for ALL food scraps, this includes old bread, kitchen scraps, including meat, bones, pasta, rice, spoiled food, coffee grounds, eggs and dairy products and of course all fruit and veggie peelings.
- You can also place soiled paper, paper plates, and paper towels in the green bin (ie: pizza boxes)
- You can use your green bin for weeds and small amounts of yard clippings. Layering your kitchen scraps with yard clippings and "brown" (dry materials such as dried leaves, paper, etc) will help keep the odour down.
Anmore's recycling services are now managed by MMBC (MultiMaterials BC).
Please visit the Anmore information page by clicking here.
A detailed recycling pamphlet can be found here.
Please let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try and get the answer for you. You can also visit www.Anmore.com or call the Village Hall at 604-469-9877
Many of you have asked about the potential IOCO land sale that makes up 150 acres of pristine watershed in Anmore.
Anmore Council, in consultation with village staff and our planners have put together a "Background and Overview for Imperial Oil Limited Disposition of Ioco Lands". The purpose of the document is to inform and advise all potential parties interested in the IOCO lands of Anmore's position on the proposed sale and development.
It's amazing how the potential sale of a 150 acres of unfettered wilderness can draw peoples attention to the big picture and encourage them to want to do better. As a small village, we have to start taking a planned, responsible and sustainable approach to any development that will take place here. It's my expectation that this letter will be a starting point for discussion of policy and bylaw improvements that can take place in Anmore.
To read the "Village of Anmore Background and Overview on Imperial Oil Limited Disposition of Ioco Lands" CLICK HERE
Imperial Oil Lands Sales Package CLICK HERE
Cabinet Ministers participated in panels at UBCM discussing these topics: Jobs and the Economy, Healthy Families, Resources and the Environment, and Community Services.
Well I made it through my first annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention and I have to say it was a really educational experience. Not only did I walk away with some high level ideas of where local municipalities and the Province of BC are heading, but I was also able to engage in some great discussions about the nuts and bolts of local government and what is working (and not working) for municipalities all over BC. As I mentioned in my last post, the Municipal Finance forum was really informative and lead the way to some great discussion on municipal revenue sources. Anmore is quite limited in the variety of revenue streams and we should ensure we are effectively capturing new revenue sources and properly managing our current user pay, taxation, grants and development cost charge revenue streams. I am still waiting for a government finance session to talk about reducing costs, we seem to be great at pointing out how we need to maximize revenues, but cost reductions, consolidation of expenses, municipal partnerships and other creative ideas can be a great way to free up extra cash for new projects or reduce the tax burden on our municipal taxpayers!
The Small Talk Forum for small municipalities had some inspiring examples of how small communities are focusing on providing outdoor recreational services and moving away from high cost infrastructure such as pools, ice rinks, etc. Fernie had a great presentation on an outdoor bike dirt park they have recently built. It's helped provide locals with another amenity and benefited their small tourism industry. The Small Talk forum also focused on health care issues in our province and how with ever increasing pressures to consolidate and centralize services, smaller municipalities like Anmore need to ensure we are supporting the concept of team led health care, which includes patients having access to a variety of professionals and service levels, including doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, etc to keep patients out of long term hospital stays and in their community.
I attended several workshops, including one on the Powers of Mayor and Council, and a Workshop on Collaborative Watershed Governance. The Powers of Mayor and Council workshop was a great review for a new councillor like myself on the job of council vs. staff. There was an interesting point made that our Canadian system is a "weak Mayor system" and unlike some US cities, our Mayors' hold only marginally more responsibility than those of council. The comment was put out there that cities could be more progressive in Canada if we had a "strong Mayor system", similar to the city of New York. They also explained that our BC Mayors' are responsible for reading "The Riot Act" prior to calling in the police, during any protest of more than 12 people deemed to be out of control. BC has the best known examples in Canadian history of local Mayors reading "The Riot Act". First in Prince Rupert in 1958 and more recently during the Stanley Cup riots of 2011. While I have no doubt there is good reason for such an act, I do think it's interesting that the act requires a Mayor to attend the event and read the following proclamation:
"Her Majesty the Queen charges and commands all persons being assembled immediately to disperse and peaceably to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business on the pain of being guilty of an offence for which, on conviction, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for life. God Save the Queen."
The Workshop on Collaborative Watershed Government was a little more practical and provided some great insight into how municipalities are working across municipal boundaries to create consistent policy and bylaw related to watershed protection. We share many watershed areas with Port Moody and Coquitlam and would benefit from more communication and consistency in policy and regulation, beyond those contained in Riparian Area Regulations (RAR) and with Provincial and Federal regulatory bodies. It would benefit municipalities to move towards collaborative and co-operative governance of shared watershed areas. While our biggest local concern is development, there are many municipalities that have big industry, mining and resource management issues that are greatly affecting their watershed quality if they are downstream of these operations. I am in support of BC implementing a Collaborative Watershed Government Accord.
Several sessions of the UBCM were dedicated to electing new UBCM board members and voting on resolutions put forward by various municipalities and the UBCM committees. This included everything from a vote to support that the appropriate levels of government look into the decriminalization of marijuana; to the opposition of increased tanker traffic in BC waters; and the support of mandatory sterilization of rabbits for sale in pet stores (apparently Sannich doesn't have coyote control as in Anmore and has seen upwards of $300,000 in damage from out of control rabbit populations in their area!).
I had some productive dialogue with councillors from all over BC and with my own fellow Anmore council and benefited a great deal from attending the UBCM. Our municipality spends a considerable amount each year sending council to the UBCM Convention and I'm happy to report back on what I've learned and accomplished during our trip.
When UBCM is held in Vancouver every 2nd year, the cost is considerably less. This year the convention was held in Victoria and there was the added expense of hotel and transportation. I do think it was a worthwhile expense and hope Anmore taxpayers will see the benefit in this type of networking, information sharing and educational activity for council members. I considered my length of stay and transportation options in deciding to attend UBCM and was able to utilize public transit (West Coast Express, Canada Line and bus) one way and reduce my hotel stay from 5 to 3 nights by arriving the day of the conference and leaving at the end of the last full day. All of Anmore council opted to arrive the day of convention to save on extra hotel fees.
For your information and to provide transparency in spending, here are my convention expenses:
UBCM Convention Fee: $660.80 + $30 for Municipal Finance Forum = $690.80
Hotel (3 nights): $588.42
Travel Expenses: $102.25 (public transit and ferry to Victoria ($22.25), fee for car and 2 councillors on the way back to Vancouver was $80)
I am writing this from my hotel room in Victoria where I am attending the annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention. Normally I would focus my report on Village of Anmore business and what’s going on in our neck of the woods, but instead I am going to type about some of the great conversations taking place regionally and provincially and how these new ideas apply to our Village.
Earlier this month I had an opportunity to attend the SFU Public Square Mayors Roundtable on Community on behalf of Mayor Anderson. I was excited to participate in this conversation about community at the regional level and what I gained from the discussion was that despite our obvious differences, there are some common issues that all Metro Vancouver municipalities share when it comes to the social health of our communities. The roundtable focused on municipal strategies for strengthening community bonds, increasing residents’ sense of belonging, and building more vibrant and resilient communities. Many of these strategies will fit well into the Anmore context and I look forward to bringing them forward to our council and committees for discussion.
The 2012 UBCM convention has had some useful clinics and forums. The first I attended was a session on Local Government Finance. There was much discussion on the effects of provincial offloading of expenses to municipalities, fiscal sustainability and how municipalities can and should diversify their revenue streams. While Anmore doesn’t have the benefit of a diversified tax base from commercial and industrial properties, we can focus on a good balance of user pay services, property tax contributions towards shared services and an emphasis on careful planning of infrastructure replacement. Most interesting was the conversation about how some US cities have taken to implementing their own municipal income tax, beer taxes, local car taxes, etc., to meet their growing infrastructure costs!
The UBCM Small Talk Forum focused on challenges in health, transportation and the environment for small communities across BC. One health care professional that had been invited to speak placed a strong emphasis on moving away from standardized care and towards a team approach to health care. The idea being that a more successful and economical approach to patient care would be to provide patients access to a multidisciplinary team including a doctor, nurse practitioner, social worker, etc. There were some great successes discussed, including small community achievements in providing outdoor recreational services in lieu of costly construction of indoor facilities.
I also attended a panel discussion on social media. More and more municipalities and councils are using online sources to get news out and gain valuable feedback from residents. I won’t go into too much detail, as I should probably be tweeting about it or posting it on facebook!
I am half way through the UBCM convention and look forward to attending their annual meeting, resolution session and some of their clinics, including one on collaborative watershed governance in BC.
Thanks for reading!
The Vancouver Foundation and SFU Public Square are hosting the 1st Annual Inaugural Community Summit next week and I am looking forward to hearing some inspiring ideas of how to make community connections in a world where people are more and more becoming disconnected to their neighbours and neighbourhoods!
As part of the Summit, I will be attending the "Mayors Roundtable on Community" on behalf of Mayor Anderson and the Village of Anmore as Mayor Anderson has a prior commitment. Mayors and council will use this roundtable to discuss municipal strategies for strengthening community bonds, increasing residents’ sense of belonging, and building more vibrant and resilient communities.
For those interested in attending an event at this week long Community Summit, you can find more details here: http://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/community-summit.html .
From their website: The Community Summit is an annual gathering convened by the SFU Public Square that focuses on a local or international issue of public concern. The Community Summit creates the space for citizens to come together to jointly research, discuss, identify solutions and take action on emerging and relevant issues. The SFU Public Square works collaboratively with community partners from across the region to build upon their work, support their efforts and amplify their reach and impact.
Our little community of Anmore is celebrating 25 years since incorporation this year. What's amazing to realize is that while we are 25 years old as an official Village, we have homesteading families that have been in Anmore for almost 100 years.
The valley of Anmore was first homesteaded in 1914 with parcels of land going for $5 per acre! Several of the original homesteading families stayed in Anmore and their children and grandchildren are here today to carry on their legacy. These families include the Spence's, the Sparks, the Leggit's, the Lazure's and a few more that we are uncovering as we dig deep into our archives.
As a way to celebrate our history, the Village of Anmore has begun archiving family stories from as far back as 100 years ago, to more recent family stories in a video archive project. So far we have 2 stories of local families and we look forward to many more. It's heartwarming to hear from locals about the old Anmore and how much this place is a part of their history. As a resident of only 9 years, I look forward to the day our family can look back on the history of Anmore in such a personal way.
Here are the stories of the Spence family and the Sparks family. Enjoy! I will post more as they become available.
An example of a little free library
Some of you may know that in my professional life I am a digital marketing consultant. I had a lively conversation with a colleague last week about how social media is infiltrating our everyday lives and how connections between people are often being developed online via platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter well ahead of real world connections. While I have read many an article about how this is the downfall of modern society and certainly see the disconnect among youth who would prefer to text the person sitting next to them rather than engage in real conversation, I have a real appreciation for the value in the type of collaboration, idea sharing and reach that social media has on our daily lives.
Take for example a project that has developed in the Village of Anmore. A friend posted an article on Facebook about an organization in Wisconsin called Little Free Library that promotes community and literacy through encouraging neighbourhoods to set up their own book exchanges. The idea of a book exchange is not something new, but the concept of small outdoor library boxes that are sponsored by neighbours, neighbourhoods, and communities and then promoted online as part of a bigger movement is fascinating. It's this type of connection to a bigger whole that people crave when they engage online and here is a little non-profit in Wisconsin whose nearing 2000 little free library stops all over the world, all by making people feel like their little library is part of a much bigger movement.
Anmore has no library services and we rely on our local school, neighbouring municipal library services and bookstores when we want to get our hands on a book. Little Free Library is the perfect low cost, community supported idea that helps promote literacy within the framework of our small Village. To that end, I re-posted information about the Little Free Library concept to Facebook and asked for residents opinions on the idea. The amazing thing about social media, was that within a few hours I had all sorts of comments in support of the idea and offers to help build library boxes, to donate books and to set up a group to make this idea a reality in Anmore.
Via regular channels, this idea might have taken months to take hold or fizzled out all together, but online people have the ability to see visual examples of the idea through pictures and articles and exchange comments and ideas from their homes, their offices or even their smart phones.
The goal is to have our first Little Free Library up and running by the end of August and a total of 10 installed in the community over the next year. I hope this project will gain council support and momentum as people see the benefit to having this type of community book exchange in their neighbourhood.
If you'd like to participate in this project, or if you are interested in finding out more, please feel free to contact me (via email, or facebook of course) !
Congratulations to resident Micheline Berry of Anmore who recently placed first in the Vancouver Island Grass Court Championship. Micheline defeated Jean Martin of Shawnigan Lake 6-7, 6-1, 7-5 in the women's 60 singles.
Micheline is a regular visitor to the Village of Anmore's newly resurfaced tennis courts and has been an avid tennis player for man.
The Vancouver Island Grass Court Championship, held from July 22-28, attracted a huge number of competitors, with some hailing from beyond British Columbia and Washington state.
In September 2011, Micheline also had some success at the Canadian Senior National Championship. Micheline Berry and Eileen Clark teamed up to win the women’s 60 Doubles. Single’s results were also impressive with Eileen Clark a finalist in 65 Single’s & Micheline Berry taking 3rd place in the 60 Single’s.
Micheline is an avid tennis player and can often be seen with her husband Wayne and other tennis friends playing tennis at the Village courts behind Anmore Elementary School off of Elementary Road. The newly resurfaced courts are open to the public and are a fantastic place to get your game on!
Our Annual General Report was presented at the June 22nd council meeting. This report included an independent financial audit and a list of goals and objectives for the coming year.
In general, our auditor reported that the Village is in good financial health for the size of our municipality. The auditor did suggest that the Village of Anmore put more emphasis on our long term capital replacement costs as we, along with most municipalities in BC, are currently not putting enough away for future replacement of major infrastructure such as roads, water main replacement, etc.
Our Finance Committee is aware of this issue and we’ve made some improvements to funding both our water maintenance reserves and our general capital reserves in the most recent budget. This won’t be an issue that will go away anytime soon though.
For goals and objectives, 2012 and 2013 are significant years for planning, review, and staffing. The Village has had several recent retirements of long term managers and the unfortunate passing of our city planner Michael Rosen earlier in May.
Tim Harris, has recently been appointed to the position of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and I wish him great success in this new position. We also have a temporary city planner in place and expect to have a new manager of Public Works hired by the fall.
Council will be moving forward with a Sustainability Plan (to assist in long term financial, infrastructure and community planning), a Parks Plan (to address parkland and trail requirements) and the review of our Official Community Plan (OCP).
Our Anmore Advisory Planning Commission has started the planning process necessary before undertaking a full review of our OCP. This review will take place in the fall of 2012 and throughout 2013 and include input from committees, staff and council as well as a detailed public consultation on current and future land use, zoning, development, parks, environmental protection and community infrastructure and amenities that will help shape our long term vision and community plan.
I encourage you to participate in this process. Your opinion matters and your thoughts and ideas will contribute to the long term development of our Village.
Due to the recent resignation of Tim Laidler from Anmore Council, there will be a by-election held in September 2012. It’s unfortunate that we have to go through this process again so soon after our regular election, but I am hopeful that this process will encourage people to get more involved in the process of local government.
I welcome any potential candidates to reach out to current council to gain an understanding of the issues and the job we’ve been elected to undertake.
I am honoured to have been elected to represent our community. I am working hard and enjoying both the challenges and progress that come with the job.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It's great to be out in the community, participating in some of the great events in and around Anmore and speaking to residents about what matters to them!