Random thoughts on council's first meetings

This week marks three months since the District of Lillooet’s new council was elected on Oct. 20. That gives us time to begin to develop perspectives on this new leadership group.

It’s still early days, but the atmosphere is more congenial and collegial than the tension and division often apparent within the previous council. Mayor Peter Busse also has a sense of humour that keeps things moving along.

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It may not conform to established rules of order, but the mayor has also opened up meetings to allow the media and members of the public to ask questions of delegations making presentations to council.

It will be interesting to see what council does with the recommendation to increase property taxes this year. Councils can only hold the line on property taxes for so long before something has to give – property taxes have to increase, services have to be cut or more has to be taken from reserve funds. That last option usually causes trouble. If not now, later. 

Councillors Jen Leach and Jamie  Howe are settling into their roles. Councillor Leach seems comfortable in providing perspective from a younger generation and Councillor Howe is paying attention to detail and asking thoughtful, earnest questions.

There was an interesting dynamic during Public Question Period Jan. 7. Vera Busse was never hesitant about asking questions of Mayor Marg Lampman. This time, it was her husband’s turn as Mrs. Busse asked a pointed question about why two dogs that had killed a smaller dog on the Hop Farm had not yet been apprehended by the animal control officer. The mayor offered several reasons – time demands on the officer who hadn’t been in the right place at the right time to catch the dogs, etc.

It must have seemed somewhat familiar to Marg Lampman, who was in the public gallery for the first time since the new council was sworn in.

W.F.

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