Mayor Walt Cobb (right) presents city councillor Laurie Walters with her city hall photo at Tuesday evening’s city council meeting after Walters gave a farewell speech. Walters is not seeking re-election after serving 10 years on council. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

City councillor Laurie Walters bids heartfelt farewell

Walters plans to devote more time to her family and continue working on physician recruitment

Outgoing city councillor Laurie Walters gave an emotional farewell address at Tuesday’s regular meeting outlining the 10 years she served on council.

First elected in 2008 when Kerry Cook was mayor, Walters said her first term was a steep learning curve.

“I learned a lot about process and the value of process, our roles as politicians and policy makers.”

Walters said at the time council was working on creating a long-term vision plan for Williams Lake that took three years to complete.

“It was the community’s engagement and the kitchen table talks and the fact every sector of the community was involved with that plan. I know that this council has not been quite as proactive with that plan and I really really hope that in the future council will take another look and revisit it.”

During her second and third term the Sam Ketcham Pool renovation project was started and eventually finished.

“After the pool was completed I expanded into regional government and was elected on the North Central Local Government Association and began thinking more regionally,” she said.

Read more: Williams Lake city councillor Laurie Walters will not seek re-election

She also achieved her provincial instructor’s diploma and taught at Thompson Rivers University.

“I think my third term was the most challenging and rewarding,” Walters said. “I found that I was contributing more and my voice was heard and my leadership skills were put to work.”

She continued to chair community services, which she had in her second term, and was second vice-president of the NCLGA.

Fighting back tears, Walters thanked the citizens of Williams Lake for letting her serve them for 10 years.

“It’s been both really humbling and an honour. The staff are who I will miss most. The citizens need to know how fortunate they are to have the city staff. It’s their knowledge, skills, length of service and dedication that has formed this city, not politicians.”

After thanking the other councillors for their integrity and leadership, Walters said everyone has dedicated time and contributed.

“Differences set aside, each used their skills, and at the end of the day, whether we agree or disagree, those skills have helped move this community forward.”

She also thanked her family for being supportive and said she plans to reinvest some of her time with her aging parents and with her grandchildren.

“I plan to continue my work with the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice and using my skills I’ve learned while being on council for 10 years.”

Walters then looked out into the gallery where resident Elke Reiner, who attends every single council meeting, was sitting in her usual spot.

“I really appreciated your interest in this community and your dedication and how involved you have been,” Walters told Reiner. “There are not very many communities that can say they have an individual that has been as dedicated as you have been. I really want to thank you.”

Mayor Walt Cobb thanked Walters for her contribution.

“Certainly as you indicated there were times when we disagreed but that’s what made us a good council because we agreed at the end of the day that it’s not about personalities, it’s about the issues in our community,” he said.

Coun. Sue Zacharias in not seeking re-election either, however, Walters chose to make her farewell speech Tuesday evening because she will not be able to attend the council meeting in November when the newly-elected council will be sworn in.

Read more: Williams Lake city councillor eyes future



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

T-wolves claim home-ice advantage for playoffs

Saturday, Williams Lake breezed to an 8-0 trouncing of the Thunder.

Brent Morton returns to the stage Feb. 23 with a fresh, new, musical sound

After almost a year away from the stage focused on his music, this lakecity icon returns

Teacher shares a lifelong passion for music and band with lakecity

For almost eight years now the local band program has flourished thanks to her

WEATHER: Few sunny days but warmer temperatures are on the horizon

Today is forecasted to be the coldest day in the lakecity this week

COLUMNS: Who wants an increase in hydro rates?

Jim Hilton breaks down an increase in B.C. Hydro’s rates this week

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read