By TREENA MIELKE
After little more than two months on the job, Rimbey’s mayor is looking forward to the new year with optimism and confidence.
“It’s a steep learning curve for sure,” said Sheldon Ibbotson, “We have just had our two month anniversary.”
Moving forward, learning about issues and moving on to the next set of issues is all part of the learning process, said Ibbotson, who was on council from 1995 to 1998 and so had some idea of the work and time commitment involved.
“We are all looking forward to the new year and moving ahead.”
Voters made a clean sweep of the previous council and all the faces, including Ibbotson, in the council chambers are new this year, presenting new, but not, the mayor believes, insurmountable challenges.
“We are all new on council, but everybody seems to have their own areas of interest and are anxious to move ahead on them. We are all looking forward to the new year and moving ahead.”
Looking at the beautification of Rimbey is one of the primary goals of council in the new year, Ibbotson said.
“We need to look at what people want to see in their community. Actually, beautification doesn’t quite cover it all, it’s about making people know that is their community and learning what they would like to see, whether it be more programs for youth or more programs for seniors. It’s not just about paint and weeds.”
Although Rimbey council has not yet began the formal budget process, Ibbotson says there have been some discussion around the finances.
“The town is a little tight for cash right now. We haven’t even started our budget. At this point we’re just discussing where we’re headed.”
Transparency is important to Ibbotson and he plans to make every effort to keep the citizens of Rimbey informed as to all council issues that come up.
“We want to be more transparent and we’ve already made a step in that direction. We have more on the web. We put on our agenda packages and as we do bylaws we will post them on the Internet.
Ibbotson said council is working on procedural and nuisance bylaws and the town is also looking at becoming part of a regional assessment board.
“We advertised to get a local assessment board, but only had one applicant.” Ibbotson said being part of the regional board is a logical solution.
The completion of a new outdoor swimming pool will be a great addition to Rimbey in the new year, the mayor noted.
“Construction on the swimming pool is ongoing. It’s scheduled to be done this spring, the exact date depends somewhat on the weather.
Ibbotson is looking forward to working with council and the residents of Rimbey to make 2011 the best year ever.
“I want to wish everybody a happy new year. I’m looking forward to the new year and it will be good to get through the winter and see spring.”