A cohesive community working together towards its goals is what Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan wants to see in Port Alberni in the next year.
Council held its annual organizational meeting on Monday night and Ruttan laid out the vision for 2016.
“We will continue to move forward with the five points in the strategic plan that are really important for us,” he said.
“We want to strengthen the economy, we want to make sure the community as a whole works together to accomplish that.”
The city’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan outlined five primary goals: live within our means, connected communities, environmental protection, revitalizing the economy and livability, and responsive government.
“We want to send a positive message about the city of Port Alberni.”
Ruttan said that he remains cautious about how council spends taxpayer dollars.
“We want to be really careful about the money that we spend because each of us is really conscious that that money is ours in trust—not just ours to spend however we feel like.”
However, Ruttan is still keen to pursue the objectives council has laid out over the past year.
“We want to make sure that work continues on Johnston Road, we want to make sure that we complete for July 1, 2017 the hard surface biking, running, walking path to join Harbour Quay to McLean Mill.”
The economy is also on Ruttan’s mind.
“We want to continue to work to strengthen the economy and as much as possible diversify the economy,” he said.
“There’s a number of really important initiatives we’ve got going and we want to make sure that continues.”
But Ruttan goes into his second year of government with a much better idea of how it all works—and at what speed.
“It takes way longer to get anything done than I possibly imagined,” he said.
“I think we all have to recognize that of city staff’s time, a lot of what they do is very routine. In terms of flexible time, there isn’t a lot. So as a council we have to be really conscious that while we might have really great ideas for things that we want to initiate, our capacity to actually realize whatever those ideas are is pretty limited.”