Transcript: City council Christmas wishes

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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The city’s elected officials capped their final public meeting of the year by wishing residents a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


The city’s elected officials capped their final public meeting of the year by wishing residents a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

The following is a transcript of city council’s comments. Very few edits were made, for either grammatical reasons or to cut out inaudible pieces of dialogue.


Charlene Miller

“I would like to say merry Christmas and happy New Year to everybody in Ward 1 and to all the friends that I have in each of the wards.


Rick Orr

“I want to say, first of all, it’s been a wonderful year -- my first year as a rookie, and it’s been a terrific honour representing the city in Ward 2.

“I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. I’d like people to remember to be safe and watch out for people out there who are the most vulnerable, and also, if you see somebody driving and drinking over the holidays, please remember that the RID program is in effect, and you can always get a ride home through the (Operation Red Nose) program.”


Lee Atkinson

“I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, certainly throughout the city, my colleagues on council, staff and administration.

“I think for the year coming up, I’m looking forward to a new city manager coming, new ideas around the table, some new discussion and some different direction from where we have been. I think we all admitted that basically the status quo was no longer good enough, and in fact, relative to that, we find ourselves in a position where the largest city in Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, is following our lead to get paving and infrastructure done, and we were the ones who set the bar on that, and fortunately for the citizens of Prince Albert, who are the ones funding a lot of that initiative, I think there were disruptions during the year, but we got an awful lot of work done. It was long overdue, and hopefully everyone is appreciative of that, and they’re the ones who are undertaking it, not us. We’re just heading in the right direction, I think, so thank you to all.”


Don Cody

“Certainly, it’s been an interesting year. It’s quite nice to come back after a stay away and see what a council can be like. I think we have a very good council. We’re pretty cohesive, we work well together, and I think that’s what the public asked of us. They want us to have some fun, have some laughs, and work together, because it’s they who we work for, and I think they’re pleasantly pleased. Certainly as Coun. Atkinson has said, the paving program is one of the great things that we’ve done, and I very much look forward to next year, another great program and working with Jim Toye, our new city manager, and other new employees who will be coming. We always look forward to that, and hopefully they do well in our city, and we welcome them here.

“And, a very merry Christmas to everyone and a happy New Year, and as I say, drive safely.”


Tim Scharkowski

“My greetings to everybody, too, and I’d like to say thanks for my first year on council. It’s been really fun. I’m glad I made the career choice. I hope to learn a lot more in the next three years.

“To the residents of my ward, phone. If there are any issues. I have a great ward -- the rest of the city is also a really beautiful place to live. I hope everybody has a merry Christmas.

“I’d like to say thanks to all of administration, too, for all of the work they’ve done this past year, and going forward it’d be nice to see everything work out for everybody, so yeah, Merry Christmas and a happy new year.”


Martin Ring

“Certainly a merry Christmas and a happy 2014 to everybody.

“My fellow councillors, it’s been a real treat, actually, over this past year. We’ve had tremendous dialogue in most of our meetings, and it’s been good. It’s been refreshing. We don’t always vote the same way, and that’s how it’s supposed to work, and I look forward to the many challenges that we have coming to the future.

“The budget is certainly not an easy task, and I hope people realize that we’re not taking our budget talks lightly. We’re taking a long hard look at most everything.

“From a personal standpoint, I saw one of my projects come to fruition this past year with our additional recycling effort, and I think we’re going to see some really positive results out of that coming up in the not to distant future, again. There are challenges involved in that, but there have been terrific successes up ’til now, and again, thank you to all of you and the best coming up.”

I would like to say merry Christmas and happy New Year to everybody in Ward 1 and to all the friends that I have in each of the wards. Charlene Miller


Mark Tweidt

“Well, Mr. Mayor, and I’d like to say thank you to you, first of all. I think you’ve really set a mood, in the sense that we’ve seen in the past where groups haven’t got along and all that. I think you’ve really made it fun. We work hard, but you’ve shown us how to laugh and joke, and I think that’s good.

“I think of Coun. Cody, he’s as far left as I’m right, and we’re good friends. But, isn’t that wonderful -- that we can get along, and we can do some really good stuff here, and at the end of the day go out for coffee. I think that’s professionalism, and I think that’s the same that we can say about our team.

“I just see us working together to do what’s best for P.A. I would say merry Christmas to my ward, but I’m a really strong believer in the city. I really do believe that every decision we make here should be for the whole city, not just for our ward. I know that we’re representative of that, but really, we’re here for the city.

“Merry Christmas to all the viewers. They’ve been really fun … It’s great to be part of this team, and I thank you for the opportunity.”


Ted Zurakowski

“As you know, the work of the city and council continues, we will meet at least three or four more times before the Christmas break.

“I would like to wish my fellow councillors a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. It has been fun for me. It’s been quite refreshing -- sincerely. I am looking forward to the new year, and hopefully when we come back we have a full administration -- or shortly after, with some of these chairs being filled instead of empty.

“Merry Christmas to the media, as well -- to the Chamber who have become our partners in the work that we do here in the city. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all the residents of the west hill.

“And, as Coun. Mark Tweidt accurately says, we learn that we represent the whole of the city, not just the residents of our ward. So, with that, merry Christmas to everybody, and again, give each one of us a call, and if you can’t get hold of us call the mayor’s office.”


Greg Dionne

“First of all, I’d like to thank all my colleagues on council. It’s been a very interesting and unique year for us. I think one of the things that I continue to hear … is how many of us continue to show up at so many events, all at the same time. That just shows that we are a team, and when I talk about the team, I talk about administration. I talk about our snow removal people, I talk about all our staff. We make the policies and rules, but they make the city work, so I have to thank them.

“Another group I’d like to thank on behalf of council and all our colleagues, is I just want to thank the men and women who will work over the holiday season. Lots of us are in a position that we can get the time off to stay home and enjoy it with our family and friends, but lots of us don’t have that opportunity. They have to stay at work to keep our citizens protected, our people in the hospital -- make sure they have care. So, those people have not gone unnoticed by council, and I do give you a sincere thank you on behalf of my colleague and myself and the team at city hall, for the contributions you give during the season and the sacrifice.

“I’d also like to remind people during this holiday season, lots of nights there won’t be many people out, and we continue to get cold nights, so I ask you look out for your neighbours and your friends and the unfortunate. Our police department doesn’t want you to hesitate to call. If you think there’s something out there that’s not right, or someone who looks a little cold, I encourage you to call our police line at 953-4222, and not the 911 number, and they’ll be pleased to come and help you.

“In closing, the most important thing I’d like to emphasis to our citizens, please, don’t drink and drive. We have a terrible reputation in our province and our city for drinking and driving, and if there were one thing we’d like to tackle in 2014 -- in the last year we saw quite a few unfortunate young people die because of drinking and driving, so I can’t emphasize enough, please don’t drink and drive.

“With that, I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year.”

Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

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