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Comox Mayor Nicole Minions recaps the town’s 2022 achievements

By Mayor Nicole Minions

By Mayor Nicole Minions

Special to the Record

The Town of Comox achieved many successes in 2022, achievements and accomplishments that we are proud to celebrate with our community.

While we face challenges and obstacles every year, the leadership of the previous mayor and council and the newly elected town council, along with the outstanding work of dedicated staff, allow us to continue to move in a direction that positively serves the community well into the future.

Here is a look back at some of the highlights of 2022.

Actioning strategic priorities

The strategic priorities document is a tool that the town council uses to guide how we will utilize the town’s resources and funding. A few of the key accomplishments from the last year include:

• Climate action open house – This open house held at the end of June was an opportunity for the community to provide feedback on climate change initiatives and their growing impact on our environment and quality of life in our community. The feedback from this open house was critical in establishing the town’s strategies related to reducing emissions and managing the risks of climate change.

• New tree retention policy – Trees contribute to the town’s visual character and ecosystems. The town recognized that existing trees and new development compete for space. Since both are crucial to Comox’s vitality, the new policy seeks to balance the needs of the two.

• Youth recreation report – the town conducted a robust consultation that assessed and provided recommendations for outdoor recreation and park infrastructure for youth 12–18 years old. Through this report, Comox council voted in favour of undertaking public engagement to determine the location and design of a skatepark and bicycle pump track.

• Marine Services Building – Through federal and provincial grant funding, the town proceeded to partially demolish and rebuild the Marine Services Building. The final design for the building will include three retail spaces, two gender-neutral accessible washrooms and a visitor information kiosk.

Regional collaboration

• Regional climate action initiatives – The town works to move forward with climate action initiatives through the goals set in the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). The objectives of the RGS are to minimize regional greenhouse gas emissions and plan for adaptation in the region. In 2022, the focus of the climate action initiatives was on

• Regional parks service – The town worked to support re-activating a regional parks service in the interest of creating greenway links between municipalities and acquiring large land parcels of regional interest. Parks and trails under a regional service will focus on land for environmental protection or nature-based outdoor recreation.

• Support of Coalition to End Homelessness and Habitat for Humanity – The town continues to support the poverty assessment and reduction strategy that defines actions that reduce poverty across the region. In 2022, the town contributed $40,000 in funding to Habitat for Humanity for local area housing initiatives and supported six affordable housing units on behalf of M’akola Housing Society to the Highstreet property at 695 Aspen.

In the past year, we’ve seen many changes both inside organization and the community we serve. Before the October general municipal elections, we honoured Mayor Russ Arnott with the highest award, the Freedom of the Town. It was a privilege and an honour for me and all members of council 2018 – 2022 to bestow this award to show him our sincere appreciation for his dedication to public service. We were saddened by the passing of our beloved friend and mentor in November; this was a significant loss for our community and the field of public service.

It would be amiss not to recognize all the extraordinary community events and public engagement opportunities that made a positive difference in the lives of those who live, work, and play in our community. From the opening of the new Aspen Grove Child Care Centre, to the energy created by drawing the community back to an in-person Comox Nautical Day celebration, and working to support local charity initiatives such as the Mayor’s Golf Tournament and the Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon raised over $127,000, we all have reason to celebrate.

With a new council team with me on this next four-year journey, I’m looking forward to 2023 and the years to come as we face new challenges and opportunities. When I look around our great town, I see opportunity and citizens who embody the spirit of kindness, generosity, and ingenuity that will propel us to improve community living and positively manage change.

Mayor Nicole Minions

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