Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells addressed a full gallery at the inaugural meeting of the newly elected city council, Monday at the CVRD Civic Room. He started off by thanking his family and all candidates who ran in the Oct. 15 election.
“This election seemed tougher than most, but we need to heal and come together for our community.”
Wells said council is committed to implementing a new Official Community Plan with a focus on First Nations Reconciliation, climate change, diversity, equity and community well-being. Council also needs to communicate with citizens via town halls and other events.
Traditionally, he said councils and municipalities have been responsible for land use, water, sewer, roads, and parks and recreation. In recent years, housing and mental health and addictions have become front and centre as the lack of affordable housing and the toxic drug supply strains communities across B.C. and the entire country.
“I am proud of the work our city has done working with developers to optimize our processes, without sacrificing safety or the environment, with over 1,400 units built in the past four years,” Wells said. “The city has also been successful partnering with non-profits to provide services and resources to those most in need, including the $1 million Strengthening Communities Grant to support warming centres and other services. We need to continue to explore opportunities to create more housing and supports for those in need. I look forward to the Housing Symposium next year which will focus on creating non-profit and employee housing partnerships and
Wells plans to continue to hold Meet the Mayor appointments that anyone can make by contacting City Hall, and to be as accessible as possible.