Message From The Mayor
Mayor Chelsae Petrovic
Mayor’s Message - November 2, 2022
It has been a year since Claresholm’s municipal election and I would like to take this opportunity to give my candid thoughts on the past year as your Mayor.
I am grateful that the community has entrusted me to serve Claresholm in such a large capacity. The year has had both successes and obstacles, and my time as Mayor has not come without difficult challenges and opportunities to learn.
To better understand my role, and my responsibilities to you, I have sought advice from other Mayors, Alberta Municipal Affairs, and particularly from our residents and businesses. While I have faced many challenges this year, I see a positive road ahead; I am excited to address the needs of this community with Town Council over the next three years of our term. I respect the democratic process and respect my fellow Council members, and while we may not always agree, I enjoy and encourage a heated debate in Council as it shows that we are passionate about the community.
My promise to the Town when elected was to fight hard for economic development, health care, and to better support our community boards. I sit on the Economic Development Committee and greatly value the collaboration of the members, who are working hard at laying the groundwork for future success of our community.
Despite unprecedented times, Claresholm has been fortunate to prosper and to gain traction in areas where we have previously fallen behind. Many individuals and families have left the city in pursuit of small-town life and have recently chosen Claresholm as their home. This recent increase in population has been great for the community, but has caused considerable housing constraints and exposed Claresholm’s lack of preparedness for this growth. Town Council has consequently hired a consultant to develop a housing needs assessment and an affordable housing strategy. We are expecting the report this fall, and furthermore, we have secured a grant opportunity to help the Town implement the recommendations, and find solutions to our housing constraints.
Town Council has also created the Community Development Committee to guide future residential and economic development. Under this initiative, the Town has sold various properties and we expect building to begin shortly on some of these sites. In the past year, we have been able to sell more vacant properties than in the past ten years combined. I look forward to seeing Claresholm continue to grow. I love seeing my neighbourhood coming together and filled with kids playing. I anticipate that as Claresholm grows, there will be greater opportunities here for residents.
Health care has been hit hard in the entire province recently. I take any and all opportunity to advocate to anyone that I get within distance of at the Provincial level. I have spoken openly about Claresholm’s health care issues with previous and current Premiers and with the province’s Minister of Health. I will continue to advocate for Claresholm as much as possible.
Lastly, community boards are a major focus of mine. I have reorganized Councillor assignments to boards where I believe they are better suited. I will re-evaluate this continuously throughout the term with feedback from both the boards and the Councillors. For myself, I regularly sit on eleven boards in the community and have fulfilled my promise of sitting-in on almost every board in the community at least once. In attending almost all 50 boards in this past year, I have a clearer understanding of specific goals and issues pertaining to each board. This knowledge is invaluable in future decisions.
I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue to work alongside so many as we continue to build a better future for our families and Town. I am proud of the work that has been completed in the past year. I have worked hard to open up the lines of communication with citizens and always return calls or emails of concern. Going forward, I would encourage all residents to attend Council Meetings and Open Houses to have a pulse on what is happening and decisions being made by myself and our Council. I am open for any conversation you have for me when you see me in public and request that you engage your elected Council members just the same.
Mayor Chelsae Petrovic