Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown sees challenging times ahead for her and her new council.

Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown sees challenging times ahead for her and her new council.

Council to keep tight reins on finances

New Spallumcheen mayor, Janice Brown, gets down to business in 2012

She chaired the township’s finance committee for the past 12 years.

Now, as Spallumcheen’s newly elected mayor, Janice Brown’s goal is to keep the township’s strong financial position during tough economic times.

“We will begin working on our budget in early January, and much preparation and scrutiny will be required for both our yearly budget and our five-year financial plan,” said Brown, who took office as Spallumcheen’s first woman mayor on Dec. 5, her 41st wedding anniversary with her husband, Dave.

The biggest expenditure for the township is its public works, and manager Ed Forslund has already begun work on a five-to-10-year capital road plan.

Spallumcheen has more than 200 kilometres of road it must maintain, and Brown said the roads are deteriorating faster than the township can maintain them, and will continue to be impacted by large industrial and agricultural activity, as well as more public traffic.

“During the budget, we’ll have the cost estimates and will be able to determine what we will be able to afford,” said Brown.

“At this time, we’ll determine what our priorities are.”

The township completed its official community plan in 2011 and Brown and her new council are now tasked with implementing the changes resulting from the plan, while continuing to maintain the township’s rural character and supporting smart growth.

Water is another huge issue in Spallumcheen, and water stewardship, groundwater and watershed protection will be priorities for the new council, which includes veteran councillors Todd York, Andrew Casson and Christine Fraser, and rookie councillors Rachael Ganson, Ed Hanoski and Joe Van Tienhoven.

Brown appointed York, Fraser and Casson to be the chairpersons of land use planning, finance and public works, respectively.

Hanoski will oversee the water issues, Van Tienhoven has been appointed to head the economic development committee and Ganson has been given the responsibility of chairing community services, which includes public safety.

Brown said that aspect has come to the forefront with recent tragedies, including the unsolved murder of an Armstrong teenager Halloween night.

“Spall residents share something in common: they all have a yearning for a municipality that takes care of its people, empowers its citizens and inspires the world,” said Brown, who will serve as the township’s director on the Regional District of North Okanagan board.

As she familiarizes herself with her new role and her new council, Brown believes that working together as a team with and for its citizens, the township’s future has never been brighter.

“There is a pride in this municipality,” she said.

 

“A pride borne out of our immense good fortune to be residing in this valley.”