With the first council meeting comes the appointing of jobs, or portfolios, for newly elected officials.
With that, Trail Mayor Lisa Pasin announced a new directive called the Community Safety Task Force at the Tuesday night meeting. She named Coun. Sandy Santori as chair with Coun. Paul Butler as the alternate.
What is the Community Safety Task Force, and why now?
“There is a level of concern in our community about crime,” Pasin explained. “It is becoming more high profile, particularly with the onset of social media, where any incident becomes a little more real-time data.”
The committee is in the infancy stage and guidelines (terms of reference) still need to be developed, but it is meant to be an avenue to better connect council and the community at-large with frontline agencies, particularly the police.
“I really think in order to increase accountability and increase communication with our protective services, with our RCMP in particular,” Pasin continued. “We need to be looking at additional ways that council can support the RCMP and support our community.”
She stressed this will be a multi-disciplinary task force, meaning many voices will be heard.
“Because this is an issue that council and the RCMP can’t take on, on their own,” said Pasin. “I think there has to be citizen engagement. I think there’s a homelessness component and there’s a mental health component, so we need to look at our health authority to see if there are ways we can engage,” she added.
“As a new council and elected officials, I think it’s really important for us to stay ahead of the curve on this and engage really early on to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our community safe.”
Another new committee Pasin announced, the Senior Citizens Advisory, sprouted from the recently completed Trail Age-Friendly Community Action Plan. A months-long process earlier this year resulted in previous council adopting the plan, which highlights ways to better support seniors. Coun. Robert Cacchioni was involved in the planning process and was named to the committee with Coun. Carol Dobie and Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson as alternates.
Another big undertaking, Silver City Days, was given to both Coun. Colleen Jones and Coun. Dobie.
Pasin clarified that councillors had collectively expressed a desire to eliminate “entrenchment” or being assigned to a committee for all four years of the term.
“Coun. Santori has been moved off Silver City Days after four years of service,” Pasin said. “To allow other members of council to work on this high profile committee and bring some fresh ideas.”
Much of the work is done during regular office hours in collaboration with city staff, so Pasin appointed both councillors to the role to share the workload as they see fit.
Two statutory positions were awarded by council votes.
Coun. Jones, a former volunteer library board chair, was awarded the city’s respective appointment.
“This is a very important portfolio,” Pasin said. “When we moved to the Riverfront Centre, the budget escalated significantly so it’s really important … to ensure that our metrics are being met and budgets are in line to what we can afford as a city to keep this world-class facility open.”
Coun. Cacchioni was awarded the regional district seat, with Mayor Pasin as alternate.