Mayor Herb Pond can add another entry on his resume and a few more names for his networking file, for that day when he leaves the mayor’s chair behind and seeks out employment in the world outside of Prince Rupert. As earlier this month, the mayor was nominated to sit on the BC committee of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
Pond found himself in demand as a write in candidate about ten minutes before the call for names was made, but when they got down to the counting his name had survived the cut and he found himself with yet another travel destination or two to come, in the next little while. Though it was quickly pointed out that his appointment will not cost civic taxpayers anything in the way of funding money, with travel costs picked up by the federation.
His appointment will however take him out of the city from time to time, something that has been a more frequent occurrence over the last few years. The latest appointment leaves city taxpayers and residents to decide if a traveling mayor is able to handle the pressing issues of the city, all while pursuing the goals of his various commitments that he has accumulated over the last few years.
The Daily news featured the news of his selection in Thursday’s paper.
POND RAISES CITY’S FEDERAL PROFILE
By Leanne Ritchie
The Daily News
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Prince Rupert is taking a larger role when it comes to lobbying the federal government on issues that affect communities in the Northwest.
Earlier this month, Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond was nominated to sit on the B. C. committee of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
Pond was asked to let his name stand about 10 minutes before the elections that were held during the recent annual general meeting of the FCM.
“I looked at the list of names of people on the committee and thought it might be a good idea to let my name stand,” said Pond.
Even though his name was a write-in on the ballot, he was elected.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901.
With more than 1,600 members, FCM represents the interests of municipalities on policy and program matters that fall within federal jurisdiction. Members include Canada’s largest cities, small urban and rural communities, and 18 provincial and territorial municipal associations.
The B. C. committee looks at issues related to the western part of the country.
Pond explained that in recent ;years, the city has been focused mostly on issues that relate to the province. This includes getting its finances in order and pursuing economic development plans for the future.
“It was very much a strategy to become involved at the provincial level,” he said.
To that end, the city has increased its efforts to work with its provincial counterparts and Pond was elected several years ago to sit on the board of the Union of British Columbia (UBCM). Currently, he chairs the environment committee and in June will help host the UBCM Environmental Conference.
However, the issues facing the city continue to change and this seemed like a good opportunity to tackle some of the emerging issues, said Pond.
“In the last little while, as we round the corner on some of these issues, we need to become more involved at the federal level.”
Areas that related to the Northwest include infrastructure funding, issues around homelessness and affordable housing, poverty, crime and the environment.
The city also holds a unique position as a border city, with the state of Alaska just north of the city’s doorstep.
The new position on the FCM will not cost anything to the taxpayer. Any travel associated with the appointment will be paid by the FCM.
Pond will join other B. C. representatives including Mayor Sharon Hartwell of Telkwa.