Ed Coleman is the new Mayor of Wells and now the work begins.
He says it was heartening to see such a great turnout for the by-election, and he says his commitment goes beyond the next 8 months.
“Absolutely yes. That was one of the questions in the Wells Chamber of Commerce forum to all the candidates, are you in for the short term or the long term ? So yes I am in for this term and I would like to get re-elected in the fall, a solid commitment, minimum of 5 years.”
Coleman says he is very familiar with his Councillors, so there will be no need for a get to know you period, which he says is good because there is a lot of work to do.
“I know all the Council members. Mandy Kilsby, who is the Acting Mayor, I have known her for at least 10 years. They are all skilled people, different backgrounds, so it’s going to be a very strong Council. Osisko Development’s Cariboo Gold Project, there is work that has to be done there, a memorandum of understanding and a benefits agreement. That’s a big item, that’s a half a billion dollar project out there. Infrastructure, you know power, sewer and water.”
Coleman says sewer alone will be a 4 million dollar project that will require a partnership with the provincial and federal governments.
He says a new Official Community Plan that is in the works, and they also have to approve a new budget.
Coleman says he also hopes to strengthen the relationship between Wells and Quesnel.
“I am going to meet with Mayor Bob Simpson tomorrow. (Tuesday) We talked about doing an MOU between the City of Quesnel and Wells. There are lots of common areas, and we haven’t done an MOU before, a Memorandum of Understanding.”
Coleman says a Memorandum of Understanding is basically a one-page document that just says what you plan to work on together…
“So if we’re going to work on wildfire protection initiatives that we would talk about this together, try to share the science, try to share the implementation ideas as one example. If we’re talking about housing projects, affordable housing projects in the area, you know we would share information on that and look strategically at housing options, how each community can complement each other on those choices.”
Coleman says those are just two examples.
He says it is a very critical relationship when it comes to economic sectors such as the arts, tourism, mining, and forestry.
Coleman will be sworn in sometime between February 15th and 19th.
The first Council meeting is planned for the 22nd.