Its been over an entire year since the municipal election in Red Deer and I have been doing some reflecting about it all.
Ken Johnston describes the work being done in the Riverlands as "building a World Class Development" which "we will soon take great pride in", or when Diane Wyntjes advocates the priority of brownfield site redevelopment, I see that there is visionary leadership on council.
I am reminded of a conversation I had with former mayor Morris Flewwelling. He described to me the two questions he asks when deciding on policy.
Is it liveable? Is it sustainable?
In other words:
Does it improve quality of life? Will it continue to improve quality of life?
He explained that it is important to take the long view. He even asks "will Red Deer be liveable and sustainable in 200 years?"
Whatever your stance on the issues, it is undeniable that there is wisdom in those words.
This is referred to as the virtuous cycle. Investments made in quality of life lead to growth which, leads to a strengthened tax base which enables more investments into quality of life.
Yes there have been and will be more failures, but lets not fail for lack of creativity. We must not be paralyzed from fear of making mistakes. Doing something is better than doing nothing. It is all to easy to become overwhelmed by the colossal task of solving all the problems. But I am not here to change everything, just something.
Listening to budged deliberations thus far there are some things that I am excited about for 2015.
I was asked many quesitons at the farmers market and found myself often saying "I dont know." From that experience I learned that I must become more informed. To do that I must get involved. The thing is getting involved is FUN and REWARDING! You can do it too! (see: Volunteer Central) Everyday I meet amazing people in our community.
People are the greatest asset we have. I had the privilege to volunteer at the soup kitchen recently and I asked one of the regular volunteers what was needed to "level-up", to improve our system. I was expecting to hear, we need more moneyin social programs, more money for crime prevention, more money for housing. Rather I heard "we need more people who care". Then everything came back into focus. People are the greatest asset we have in Red Deer.
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Special thanks to Roger Bakes and NAYR Productions for their public service interviewing candidates during the election and making their videos available online.