Revelstoke Current: The Exit Interview Series
*The Current hoped to touch base with both exiting council members and the mayor to ask them five questions about their time and experiences in office. In a very busy week, four replied with answers and one with a comment. Regardless of whether they replied or not, I want to say ‘Thank You’ to each and every one of them.*
Councillor Exit Interview Question #1
If you could change the outcome of one issue, what would it be and why?
Mark McKee (Mayor)
I could change the outcome of two or three or four items, but being on council is about looking at all of the community’s concerns. When one door closes another one opens, there are always opportunities and other things we can be doing. We worked through or resurrected a lot of items that had previously been shut down or diverted and other opportunities were realized. I think we all at some point have to take a step back and look at where we are. We are pretty lucky to be in a place like Revelstoke. People want to live here, raise their families, open up a business, or come here to enjoy the lifestyle that we all enjoy. These are the kinds of problems that make us the envy of a lot of our neighbours. As a community we will have to take a critical look at all solutions, we’ve done it before and I have no doubt we will do it again.
Aaron Orlando (Councillor)
I don’t know that there is one particular issue I would change. I’ve talked a lot about communication, and it’s something I frequently advocated for. Rather than changing an outcome, I would instead say I think communication can be improved, from my perspective. The role of local government is complex; when we face challenging decisions as a Council we could better communicate exactly what the problems are, because it’s not council problems but community problems. Part of what needs to be communicated when tackling any one individual issue is that the process involves federal partners, provincial partners and legal framework of what we can and cannot do. Communicating those challenges and engaging people in the solutions is important. Revelstoke does really well when you engage people on issues.
Communication is always relative, and can always be improved. I don’t think we did terribly, but I do see the contrast in certain things. Whenever there was more communication, things went more smoothly.
Gary Sulz (Councillor)
I do not believe there is anything that I would want to change. Decisions made around the Council table are debated and decided in a democratic process. Negating a decision, especially at this point, does nothing to foster a positive process.
Connie Brothers (Councillor)
I don’t think that there is an outcome of one issue that I would change, but in hindsight, I would have liked that we were better prepared before dealing with vacation rentals. It is a very difficult issue that is impacting not only our community, but communities throughout the province, and many countries. Different strategies are now being developed by larger communities in B.C. with more resources than we have, and it would be better to look at these to determine what is best and will work for us.
Linda Nixon (Councillor)
I thank everyone that has put their name forward. I offer only generic advice; read your council package, ask questions, listen to all sides of an issue, and remember you represent all of Revelstoke. Go to council school, and trust hard working educated staff. Move Revelstoke forward with eyes and arms wide open. Make time for your family and friends. Thank them for having your back. Believe in Revelstoke as a caring engaged community. Enjoy the new generations. Respect the seniors that built the community. I wish the new council well.
Thank you for the privilege of serving seven years.