By David F. Rooney
Just 36 hours after his ballot-box victory Mark McKee is preparing for the future, which he expects will become apparent to everyone over the first 100 days after he and the new Council are sworn in on December 1.
“I’ve got meetings scheduled all week with different groups and organizations,” he said during a morning pause in his non-stop day on Monday, November 17.
McKee and the rest of the new Council also face a whack of briefings with senior staff at City Hall
“I’ve got get up to speed, which is pretty much what I expected, and so does Council. But things are shaping up.”
He said he is reviewing everything he promised during the campaign — things like the Big Eddy water system, sewage treatment plant issues, reopening Farwell Pool and the renovations at City Hall, getting a building permit so that the 12-unit affordable housing project can proceed, and taking “an in-depth look” at municipal budgets and taxes. He’d also like to institute a “See/Click/Fix” program that allows people with smartphones to photos of things like potholes, broken sidewalks, signs obscured by trees and other physical infrastructure problems then send them to City Hall via the Internet for action by public works’ crews. After consulting with members of the new Council these issues, and others, will be prioritized.
Making all of this work is going to take a lot of effort by our new Mayor and Council. And just by them. McKee wants to ensure that citizens have opportunities to participate as much as possible.
Take the Farwell Pool issue, for instance. Some young mothers who wanted to know how they could help interrupted our discussion at Sangha Bean Cafe. Mark broke away to speak with them for a few moments and then turned his focus back to the interview.
“There’s a lot of that,” McKee said. “People want to participate and that’s what we want. My attitude is always: Give me reasons we can do things — not reasons why we can’t.”
And there is plenty of room for people, especially the men and women who ran in the last election and lost, to participate in the coming wave of changes.
“I’d like to thank everyone who ran for office and all of the people who volunteered to help them and support them,” he said. “Good people win; good people lose. We need to keep them engaged. I especially hope Michael Brooks-Hill (the 32-year-old tree planter who came in second place on Voting Day) will remain involved. He brings unique perspectives and ideas to the table and that’s how you make a great community even better.”
It’ll take time to get many things underway — about 100 days by McKee’s estimate — but sometime in the late winter or early spring, he’d like to hold a public meeting to talk with the citizenry and assess progress to that point as well as what else needs to be done.
Is this a new way of doing things?
Not really. This is more like a refreshing and very welcome return to the way things used to be accomplished in Revelstoke.