Michelle Staples is looking forward to her new role as mayor of Duncan. (File photo)

Staples excited to take on role of mayor in Duncan

New council sworn in on Nov. 5

Michelle Staples is looking forward to facing the challenges of being mayor of the City of Duncan.

Staples, who has served on city council for two terms and is the first woman mayor of Duncan, was sworn in along with the other six members of the new council on Nov. 5

Other than council veteran Tom Duncan, the other four council members — Jenni Capps, Stacy Middlemass, Garry Bruce, Carol Newington and Robert Brooke — are all new to the table.

RELATED STORY: STAPLES TO LEAD FRESH-FACED COUNCIL IN DUNCAN

Staples said she’s not concerned about so many rookies on her council, and, in fact, sees it as an advantage.

“I’ve talked to all of them and found them to be excited and passionate about being elected to serve the people of Duncan,” she said.

“They will bring different perspectives to the council table and I think that will give us different opportunities when dealing with the city’s business. Council will decide as a group which of its members will serve on what committees.”

Staples said a priority for her is to increase council’s connections to the community, and she will work with the councillors to determine how best to achieve that.

“All of us made a lot of connections and learned a lot about the thinking of the people in Duncan while going door to door during the election campaign,” she said.

“We need to discuss as a group what we found is important to the people and see what we can do to move these issues forward. I think holding town halls in the community would also be a great way to connect, and we’ll be discussing these types of strategies. We’re still in the very early stages of this new council.”

RELATED STORY: STAPLES BRINGS UNDERSTANDING OF SOCIAL, ECONOMIC ISSUES TO BID FOR DUNCAN MAYOR

As for dealing with the ongoing homeless concerns in Duncan, Staples said she expects council will be consulting with the Cowichan Coalition to Address Homelessness and Affordable Housing to devise ways to try and deal with the issues.

“We need to find out what’s happening, what’s being planned and see what we can do from the city’s perspective,” she said.

“I think we also need to consult with local businesses to see what impacts homeless issues are having on them and how best to deal with them. It will be a starting point and we’ll come up with strategies as we move forward.”

Staples also said she wants to see council working more closely with downtown businesses around other issues important to them as well, including parking in the city’s busy core.

“We need discussions with the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area and the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s economic development department,” she said.

“We need to sit down and see where we want to go.”

In regards to the ongoing opioid crisis in the city, Staples said a regional emergency response table has been formed, which includes representatives from local governments, Island Health and other stakeholders, that is working on strategies to deal with the issue in the Valley, and the city will continue to work with the other partners to find solutions.

Staples is currently the executive director of Social Planning Cowichan, and she said she is currently transitioning out of that job so she can dedicate more time to being the mayor.

“I will miss working with Social Planning Cowichan, but I will still be working in the community that I love,” she said.

“In my role at SPC, I have gained a background of knowledge on many issues facing the city that will be useful as I adjust to my new role.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Teamwork and rotating 12 hour shifts helped Island Health weather the storm in Cowichan

“At one time we had 11 hospital sites on generator power”

Cowichan’s private seniors care facilities used generators to get through outage

Like so many places, the power went out at 11:30 a.m. Thursday,… Continue reading

Fences destroyed, power out but Cowichan’s animals were safe after epic Dec. 20 storm

“It was a wake up call for being prepared for emergencies.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

North Cowichan will host new permanent rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read