A new term is underway for Municipality of Rhineland Council.
An inaugural meeting was held November 2nd and was a chance to welcome new and returning councillors.
Joining Council for the first time is Hank Froese representing Ward 2, and Brad Wiebe in Ward 1. Returning for another four years is Brad Braun (Ward 1), Archie Heinrichs (Ward 2), John Dueck (Ward 3), Jake Heppner (Ward 3) and Reeve Don Wiebe.
"At this meeting, Brad Braun and Archie Heinrichs were appointed as Deputy Reeves, and all council members were assigned to their various and external committees," explained Reeve Wiebe. "I did sense there was a renewed energy and commitment to the challenges of municipal governance."
Meantime, the new term will serve as opportunity for members to regroup and refocus. Members of the community will also get the chance to offer input on reconfirming or developing new priorities, noted Wiebe. A special public meeting will be held later this month in Rosenfeld.
"Representatives from across the municipality have been invited, we've engaged a facilitator to help guide the discussions and council members will have an opportunity to listen to the concerns that are presented from the various corners of the municipality," said Wiebe. "After that information is gained, we will use that to create board goals for the next few years and some strategies to accomplish those goals."
While the municipal election took place less than a month ago, municipal budget deliberations for 2023 are already underway and Wiebe says it is already apparent there will be some financial pressures for the next year.
"One of them is because of the wet spring and the flood damages, and our public works department couldn't complete all the drainage requests and road maintenance, and so there's a backlog of issues there," explained Wiebe, noting the Municipality is also looking at inflationary costs for equipment, materials, wages and fuel. As well, he says there seems to be a convergence of requests for funding and support from within the community for projects liks healthcare facilities and childcare centres. "Certainly, all of this adds up to some new and interesting challenges next year."