Ucluelet’s mayoral candidates discuss communication and conflict management

Two Ucluelet locals are vying for the team captain spot on Ucluelet’s municipal council and both outlined their refereeing strategies during last week’s all candidates meeting.

Ucluelet’s mayoral candidates were asked how they would resolve conflicts at the council table.

“I don’t think there’s a member of council who wants to step into a conflict,” said incumbent mayor Bill Irving.

He said at the beginning of council’s current term he gauged each councillor’s goals and priorities and laid out a strategy for handling strengths and interests.

“I think that’s very important when you’re working with a council that’s got four people who are creative, talented, and are a huge asset; you bring all those gifts to the table and tackle issues,” he said.

“Not to say we agree at all times but we’ve respectfully hashed out those issues and moved forward on everything that’s been put in front of us.”

He said council put a point of emphasis this term on getting out to visit local organizations and surrounding communities rather than sit back and wait to be approached themselves.

“That’s an important asset that we bring to the table, that desire to communicate and find creative ways to do it,” he said.

Challenger Dianne St. Jacques suggested conflicts within council are rare and councillors are usually respectful of the process.

“To date I haven’t had the challenge of conflict at the table, having said that though when people are elected they come to the table with different opinions and different ideas and I think it’s very important to listen to those ideas and be respectful,” she said.

“I think the Mayor has a key role to play in managing discussion between members of council. I think the mayor sets the tone and keeps everything polite and on a good level, at the same time it’s important to allow that interaction to take place.”

She added council should get into the community to collect feedback and input.

“Council needs to get out there, not wait for the community to come to a meeting,” she said.

The Mayoral candidates were also asked how they would improve communication between council and the community.

St. Jacques suggested the district catch hold of social media.

 â€œThat seems to be where the younger generation is at there’s no question about it,” she said.  

She said it is important for council and the community to be able to interact freely and suggested Ucluelet’s regular council meetings are not prone to open dialogue.

 â€œThe council meeting itself is a very formal process and it’s impossible really to have a lot of interaction,” she said.

She said that during her tenure as Mayor—1999-2008—council held public Committee of the Whole meetings every second week.

“They were more relaxed and more open and we actually had conversations with folks that were in the audience,” she said. “I think that makes us feel more of a team when we’re approaching things.”

She added council should not be confined to their council chambers.

“Council needs to get out more we need to knock on doors and get opinions; it’s really important,” she said.

Irving agreed and spoke to local and regional organizations council has met with including the Wild Pacific Trail Society, USS’ Student Union, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and Tourism Ucluelet.

He also laid out a wide range of public open houses the district has hosted this year.

He said council put significant effort into visiting Tofino and surrounding First Nations and recently struck an agreement with the Ucluelet First Nation with a particular emphasis on the Nation’s development around the West Coast Junction.

On the social media front, Irving said he has become more involved in his Facebook page.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity, but it’s not everybody’s cup of tea,” he said.

He said the district has revamped its website and now distributes quarterly newsletters along with submitting articles to the Westerly and being interviewed on the radio.

Read more meeting coverage in this week’s Westerly News, on newsstands now.

reporter@westerlynews.ca

 

Just Posted

Tofino athletes Devries, Olin selected for Surf Canada Olympic pathway team

“We’ve got a lot of work to do before any of us qualify for the Olympics.”

Port Alberni’s RE/MAX Ride the Rim cyclists pedal into Ucluelet

“I did it for the children and for the love of the sport.”

Surfrider cheers ocean friendly businesses in Tofino and Ucluelet

Surfrider Pacific Rim is pushing for an ocean friendly, plastic-free, peninsula.

Ucluelet First Nation elects new Legislature

“We have to reevaluate where we’re going.”

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read