Welcome to 2014! I’m not certain where the year went, but we got through it, together. At times progress is hard to measure, but if you can’t “see” it, I hope you can “feel” it. There’s a greater sense of hope for our future and while there’s much to be done, we’re on the right track. We can keep moving forward if we continue to focus on what we DO have, ignore those that say “we can’t” and give it all we have, together. This is just the beginning!
So a quick update from the Mayor’s desk...
There have been concerns recently with regard to snow removal. First, a huge and sincere thank you is extended to our Public Works department. There has been more snow lately than we are used to, and the Public Works staff is working diligently at keeping things clear. Major equipment issues slowed the process for a short time, but that is being taken care of and we have contracted some services to keep things on track. It is also important that we understand there is a protocol to snow removal. Main throughways must be plowed and cleared first, for emergency reasons. Winds blow, snow drifts, some sidewalks take longer to plow than others, curbs are difficult to get over, and sometimes the plow fills in the foot of a driveway. We are aware of each of your concerns and take them seriously. During this winter season I would encourage each of us as community members to be patient. Everyone is doing their best. The large amount of snow recently has had me reminiscing about my childhood winters. Snow banks towered, roads were always snow-covered, we were glad to dig our neighbours out, didn’t miss school because it “might” snow, and sidewalks?... we cleared them ourselves by plowing through them with our big winter boots that were lovingly lined with plastic bags to keep us dry. It was a world of helping each other and less entitlement. I remember it fondly.
May is a mere 16 weeks away and everything is on track with the ferry terminal. Work is ongoing to ensure we’re ready to greet the ferry and visitors. I have had many questions with regard to jobs related to the ferry. The ferry company itself will advertise jobs available. Can’t wait!
Many of you have already expressed an interest in taking part in the planned Entrepreneur’s Forum. A date and further information will be announced soon. I’m excited to say that NSCC and the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce have taken a lead in this. Stay tuned.
The Western Regional Enterprise Network (WREN) is moving forward with an expected start date of April. We hope to be able to announce the Board of Directors shortly. We are looking forward to using this economic development catalyst in developing the area.
Many of the “All Hands On Deck” teams will be reporting to me this weekend and I’ll be providing an update on the entire initiative, available at www.townofyarmouth.ca by the 15th of January. Within the next week I will also announce the date of the followup meeting, where we will make sure everything is ready for May! I’ve been asked to speak in February at an FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) conference re this initiative and sustainable communities. I wish I could bring each of you with me as you’ve had the ideas, done the work and made this all happen. Thank you. Let’s continue moving us forward!
Council will be very busy over the next few months as we plan for the future of our community through planning, prioritizing and more. While it’s been a hard few years, I hope you can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I see it and I’m excited about what the New Year will bring!