Today it has been exactly 1000 days since the 2014 municipal election, 1000 days since the voters put their trust in me and eight others to guide Coquitlam forward. I must say that it began with a steep learning curve. Local government is much more complex than it used to be, and much more complex than most people would think. From technological advancement, to adjusting to a changing climate, all while adapting this region to accommodate a growing population while protecting and enhancing the quality of life that makes people love living here. I hear every day from people who love this city, and who want it to continue to improve, to thrive, to be a great place to raise our kids.
After 1000 days, I am surprised at how differently I see things. How driving down the road today, I’ll see a development that I think could have been better, I’ll see something that needs fixing, I’ll see a land use that isn’t as efficient as it could be – as it will need to be in the future. And travelling to other cities, my children will laugh at how I now am a different kind of tourist, interested in road layout, community planning issues, parks development, and street furniture. My kids tell me I comment on housing forms a lot.
I have some great colleagues, people who share a passion for this city, its past, its future.
My pet peeves and pet projects haven’t lessened. I see innovation in a different way. I’m perhaps even more frustrated by such things as litter, irresponsible/risky behaviour with respect to smoking/fires in our green spaces, by people who blatantly put bears and our neighbourhoods at risk, by the minority that seems to not understand that their actions affect others. I’m as focused as ever on traffic safety, particularly around schools. I’m more enthusiastic than ever about ensuring that our community is welcoming to all, offers a wide range of outdoor activities for our residents of all ages, is affordable for residents who choose to live here, shows empathy and provides support for those who struggle, and embraces a future that includes our children and grandchildren.
I am very conscious of “staying in my lane” and not betraying the trust voters put in me by getting involved in issues that aren’t under the municipal mandate. I do my very best to stay focused on what I was elected to do.
It’s been an amazing 1000 days learning the ins and outs of municipal government in a rapidly growing, vibrant, economically-sound, diverse city full of outstanding, engaged, community-minded citizens. Representing the residents of Coquitlam is an honour and privilege I do not take lightly, one I love, embrace and take very seriously. Thank you to all who make Coquitlam the community it is and for putting your trust in me.