Nancy Cooper’s first plan as mayor is to soothe ruffled feathers with a neighbouring community.
“It’s time to let Sorrento have their slogan back,” says the mayor-elect, of the motto, “The Heart of the Shuswap,” which Salmon Arm also adopted as its own.
“Their 100th anniversary as a community is coming up, and I think we want to be good neighbours and avoid duplication.”
From there, Cooper’s plan is all Salmon Arm, as she begins to re-acquaint herself with municipal politics and procedure — but this time in a leading role.
“Although I have past experience on council, I’ve got a lot to learn. I see a lot of meetings ahead, as we look to find ways to move Salmon Arm forward.”
Cooper says she is planning to contact the Economic Development Society, the chamber and Downtown Salmon Arm for insight.
“I want to hear from people. I want them to know my door is open to anyone and I want to hear what they have to say. Different viewpoints are very important.”
In addition to meetings, Cooper is planning some heavy reading of the city’s budget and financials to get a solid grasp on the municipality’s fiscal position.
“It’s a very high priority for me, you need to see where you are at before you can make any effective changes.”
Another priority is the completion of a sensitive habitat inventory, which would provide developers with a clearer picture of where and how property development could take place in the city.
“That is something that needs to move ahead and I want to see that done.”
Cooper, the business manager at the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, will be juggling two hats for a while, but has worked with her employer to develop a transition plan.
“It will take a while to work me out of a job,” she says.
“But I wanted to be sure there was a plan in place so I can give the city my full focus.”
Cooper will be sworn in along with the rest of the new council members at a special meeting in the city council chambers on Dec. 5.
“I want to invite people to come out to that. It’s an exciting thing, a new chapter.”