Thoughts on Family Day

Since we are celebrating Family Day on February 9, I thought I'd talk a little about family. First, I wanted to acknowledge and thank our City staff. They are part of our family unit. When there is a storm or water line break, staff is quick to the rescue to ensure everything we take for granted remains functional. Snow storms, wind storms, power outages and water line breaks never happen at convenient times. Recently with our water line break, I'm sure City staff wanted to be with friends and family for the Super Bowl. No one likes to wake up at 3 a.m. to plow snow or fix a damaged electrical transformer. I am thankful we have dedicated employees who get the job done quickly and with minimal disruption to our daily routines.

Last month I met with each department to say hello, thank them for what they do, congratulate them on helping to improve our corporate culture, and to answer any questions they had about the budget or things happening in or around the City. I was amazed that previous Mayors never did this before. I'm not looking to be anyone's best friend, but mutual respect starts by being able to listen and understand other perspectives.

We will be organizing tours of our City departments and facilities, so the new Council can learn about the amenities we have. Whether it is the Advanced Waste Water Treatment Plant, Emergency Training Centre, Water Treatment Plant, Community Centre, RCMP building or SOEC, each facility has state-of-the-art technology and they are services we should be proud of. I also want to have some tours with some of our major manufacturers and their plants. I have often said we do not celebrate and acknowledge our community enough. We are a City, but I prefer to view us as a community.

Special thanks go to Coldwell Banker for helping sponsor Family Day at the Community Centre. It is great to offer affordable entertainment and activities for families to spend time together. Whether you go swimming, watch a movie, play games, enjoy a BBQ or play some road hockey with the Penticton Vees, there is something for the entire family to enjoy.

My wife and I have been together for 24 years, and I remember meeting the kids when they were just 6 and 7 years old. Some of our best memories were when we spent time together, and looking back, I can't believe how fast time flew by. One of the kids is getting married and the other just had a baby. My point is the importance of family isn't something to take lightly. Circumstances in our lives will change, but you can't change who your parents or siblings are. Penticton is a wonderful place to raise a family and create fond childhood memories. I hope you take or, better yet, make some time for family activities – strengthening the bond that will help us be a better community.