Building relationships is the key to success.
I am passionate about working together and getting to know people. I believe strongly in meaningful public engagement. Very early in my term on Council a staff member that I respect very much gave our council this piece of advice, “If you’ve already made up your mind, don’t ask for public engagement.” Those words really stuck with me and I often reflect on them. I think as governments we often feel we are doing enough by just asking for input, even if we’re not really listening to that input. I think it’s a major flaw in the way we do our business. We need to engage the public earlier on in our processes, so that their feedback can help create the path forward. When we ask for input as a courtesy but have already made up our minds, the public can feel that, and we disengage them further for future projects. Working together is key.
I will also focus on building relationships with Tseshaht, Hupacasath, the Regional District and the provincial and federal government. These relationships are too often taken for granted. If we want to do big things, we need to work together.
Finally I will use my business experience to build strong relationships with our business sector and hear their needs. There is so much opportunity that has not been taken advantage of and there are so many new industries and businesses that could come to Port Alberni to fill our empty commercial districts.
It’s time to get moving!