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

Hough Memorial Cancer Society raises over $84,000 in 2018

The Hough Memorial Cancer Society thanks our community for their generous donations of 2018.

WLSA Outdoor Adventure Program back for second season

“There are roads all over the place we can explore with some really nice scenery.”

Lakecity to host Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition June 1

Williams Lake will be hosting the 2019 Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition

WEB POLL: Are the penalties for human-caused wildfires strict enough?

The BC Wildfire Service estimates, on average, 40 per cent of wildfires in B.C. are person-caused.

FOREST INK: BC and Canadian pulp industry doing better

The recent announcement of the Tolko lumber mill closure in Quesnel this… Continue reading

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read