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

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Ahousaht Fire Department always at the ready

“Under stressful situations we come out at our best.”

Tofino honours volunteer firefighters with award

To have the community support you, say ‘Thank you,’ and recognize you, just really means an awful lot

UPDATE: Sea lion rescued in Ucluelet suffering from gunshot to the head

“It does look like there’s some pretty serious metal density in his skull.”

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Flash floods kill at least 7 people in southwest France

Flash floods have left several people dead in southwest France, with roads swept away and streams become raging torrents as the equivalent of several months of rain fell overnight, authorities said Monday.

Most Read