Wow, what a summer. The crowds. The events. It surpassed anything I have seen in my 30 years here in Squamish.
When I was a director with the chamber of commerce in the 1990s, a consultant we hired suggested we aim to have one event each weekend through the summer. Look at us now!
On my holiday this year I was at many waterfront towns — Nanaimo, Victoria, Sidney, Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, Steveston. I stayed a few days in each location, marvelling at what each of these towns has done to show off their surroundings — walks, parks, waterfront living at its best (making me reflect on what the heck happened to us).
But looking forward to where we’re going with the creation of our waterfront and our community, Squamish has a huge opportunity to showcase our incredible natural assets — which are among the most spectacular in the province. The future is so bright for our town!
I recently visited our building department to check on permits issued. Year-to-date, more than 120 building permits have been issued with a construction value of $34 million. This is ramping up to be a new building boom! Our chief building inspector, Richard Mathews, also indicated that there are 40 more permits ready to be issued.
In the major downturn a few years back, many of our best people were forced to leave town looking for ways to feed their families. As a councillor, I keep thinking about bringing them home. Richard Tripp, a friend who packed up his family and moved off to Fort Mac, is my test family (hey Richard, if you are still listening, don’t sell your home here yet).
To make all this good happen, we need to work together as a team, assisting the people that want to do things, working on finishing some of the recommendations of the past, and building on the incredible passion in our community. That takes teamwork!
September marks the start of the last year of this council. This year, you will get the best out of me. I have a pretty good idea of how things work around here now. There is a process. The better we communicate, the more effective we are in moving forward.
So this year, for me, is about getting things done — helping people like the DOS’s Jim Lang get emergency training into the universities and schools, or any of the other staff or volunteer groups move their passions forward. We are gearing up Squamish, so hang on to your hats and be positive. Call me at (604) 389-9278 or email mayor and council (firstname.lastname@example.org) with ideas.
Yes, park benches and picnic tables. In my travels this summer, I realized that we need many more places for people to sit down and have a picnic so they will stay longer.