BY BILL PHILLIPS
Terri McConnachie wants to get the old band back together, add a couple of new lead singers, and settle in for a four-year gig on Patricia Boulevard.
Noting that there will be at least two new faces on the next city council, she praised the work of the current council and Friday announced her intention to keep playing in the band that is city council.
McConnacie was flanked by Mayor Lyn Hall and councillors Frank Everitt, Garth Frizzell, Murry Krause, Brian Skakun, and Susan Scott in making the announcement before about 75 supporters at the Knowledge Garden.
“You are all here because you love your city,” she told the crowd. “You care about who you’re going to trust to voice their opinion on important matters on your behalf. It’s been an absolute privilege to be one of those voices over the past four years.”
She added it has been a busy four years for city council, pointing to items such as as working on replacing city infrastructure, the successful referendum to replace Four Seasons Pool and Firehall No. 1, and replacing the entrance to the Prince George Public Library.
“Knowledge is power,” she said. “And we’re well on our way to understanding what we have both above and below ground, and what it’s going to cost. But we still have work to do.”
She said the city has invested in neighbourhood parks and trails systems, including the skateboard park and the Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park, the new Nechako Riverside Park and the newly refurbished Masich Place Stadium.
“We have an unprecedented amount of commercial and residential construction in the city, demonstrating investor confidence, and a positive, welcoming business climate at City Hall,” she said. “… For the first time, we will have housing downtown. All this construction creates jobs and puts paycheques in pocketbooks, and we still have work to do.”
She added the city has supported businesses and entrepreneurs to help change the look of downtown over the past four years. It has also taken an aggressive approach to cleaning up unsightly properties.
“Nothing great is ever accomplished alone,” she said. “Perhaps our greatest achievement (as a council) has been to work cooperatively and successful levels of government, NGOs, community non-profit and sports organizations, professional associations and groups, educators, a whole community of invested volunteers as well as our city staff, both unionized and management.”
She said the current council has stressed the importance of being accessible, open and willing to listen.
If there is one thing McConnachie wants to work on over the next four years, it’s housing.
“We need to continue to work earnestly with Northern Health and our provincial and federal partners to address social housing needs in our community,” she said. “In particular, low barrier housing. Everyone needs a place to live.”
She says it only takes political will to deal with social housing issues.
She says the new council need to continue to momentum of what has been accomplished by the current council.
“It’s just a matter of making wise decisions and of the public telling us what they want, we really appreciate it,” she said. “It really makes our jobs easier … it’s more of the same, keep the ship upright, keep it going in one direction and we’ll get even more accomplished in this next term.”
Prince George residents go to the polls on October 20.