Looking forward to challenges

Council and staff have been busy with the budget process over the last few weeks.

Council and staff have been busy with the budget process over the last few weeks.

We will be presenting our provisional budget on Dec. 18, which is way ahead of past years. We believe this is one more step in improving the process. We still have some tough decisions to make, but we are ahead of the game.

One of the impacts on our 2013 budget is the recent loss of the Creekside mill. This represents a loss of $3.5 million in assessment. The loss of assessment doesn’t automatically mean a loss of tax revenue, as it depends on tax rates and distribution. Definitely another challenge that we face.

If I’ve run into you lately, you may have noticed some purple in my hair. This is part of the Purple Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness about the need to end violence against women in our community.

Education and awareness around this subject are so important if we ever want to break the cycle.

Council brought forward a number of additional crime initiatives Tuesday night, which include bringing back the Court Watch program, setting up meetings with the provincial and federal Ministers of Justice and Crown Counsels, developing a harm reduction strategy for weapons, and limiting vehicle access to the Dairy Fields.

We also have a second Boitanio Park safety meeting scheduled in December. Community safety remains a top priority and this Council remains committed to finding and implementing solutions.

A big thank you to the Kiwanis Club for their contribution of $20,000 toward upgrades in Kiwanis Park. We appreciate your support!

Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.