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

Sara Goodman an All-Canadian, three other Valley players win title with UVic

Cowichan field hockey players continue success in post-secondary

NDP leader Singh, MP MacGregor defend supply management at town hall meeting

“I’m committed to defending supply management”

Cowichan Cougars return to winning ways in over-30A soccer

Cougars beat JDF 3-0 at Sherman Road turf

Lexi Bainas column: Top talent just can’t resist a chance to play Cowichan Valley

From Jann Arden, Dean Brody, and MacMaster and Leahy to Jack Knox: they know a good crowd

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read