All posts by Peter Bouwsema

First Council Meeting

The City of Lacombe new council recently elected will be holding its first meeting tonight at 5pm in council chambers at City Hall. I really look forward to working with the new members of council and trust that we will have a good working relationship!

Our first order of business is to have an “Organizational Meeting” which include the swearing in of the Mayor and the councillors, setting of dates of all council meetings for the next year, to ensure proper signing authority and ratify appointments made to the Boards Committees and Commissions that we all are responsible for to council. I will announce my appointments after ratification.

Tonight’s regular meeting will cover topics such as the bylaw change for the Lacombe Library board to ensure it’s bylaws conform to minor standard changes as set out by the provincial government, discussion around a new energy retailer for Lacombe, review of a resolution coming from the City of Lacombe to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (conference in November) regarding additional support from the provincial government for the Student Resource Officer in our schools and the beginning of budget deliberations for 2014.

Sound like fun? Sure it is! I look forward to the meeting tonight!

Let the work begin!

Thanks to all my supporters in the municipal election yesterday. It is overwhelming to me the confidence shown in this election for the work that I do on behalf of our citizens. Now that the election is over, I trust that all of council will work together for the greatest benefit to our community.

So this means “Let the work begin!” Yes, I have a meeting at 9am this morning at city hall already!

Political Forum Oct 16th

Just a friendly reminder for all the citizens of Lacombe to consider attending the political forum at the Lacombe Memorial Center, Centennial Hall on October 16th starting promptly at 7:00pm. Here is a great way for each constituent to complete some due diligence in the decision making process for the election on October 21! Doors open at 6:30pm to enable citizens to talk personally with all the candidates. Why not meet your candidates face to face? Share your comments, concerns and dreams for the city of Lacombe.

Let’s Give Thanks!!

We dedicate a special day once a year to give thanks for all the blessings we have! I like the idea of each one of us giving thanks every day! WHOA, really? Yah it would be a great but certainly with some dedication needed!

I have lots to be thankful for as a city councilor!
– a loving supporting wife is at the top of my list!!
– a loving supporting family with our three sons, two daughter’s in law and three wonderful grandchildren
– a loving God
– just the best city to live in and the awesome people that make it so
– a decent city council group coming from various walks of life each with their own contributions to decisions
– an awesome Mayor in Steve Christie who has enabled council to move in leaps and bounds the past three years!
– I will spare you with the boring stuff, like, like, like …… we totally did a lot of work in the last three years as council! Wahoo!
– a great group that I get to work with on the Lacombe Police Commission
– for the years and years of service for our community done by Gary Leslie our former Police Chief ( and for his great laugh!)
– for the dedication of our just awesome Police Service and the wonderful men and women who make our community SAFE!!

This list could go on and on but you get my “drift”. Please let’s all take time for family and friends and say THANKS for the things that make our lives great!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend everyone!!

It’s the PEOPLE!!!

One of the best things that my wife and I love about Lacombe is the PEOPLE. We have lived in Lacombe since 1984, the longest of any community we made home. Over that time we got to know a lot of people and since I have been a city councilor, I have had the privilege of getting to know so many more. The one thing that seems to draw us all together is the love of this community. All sorts of reasons I am sure, but we know this community is a great place to live and we even got recognition of that being called the eighth best city to live in Canada. Yep, all of Canada!! Wahoo!! What does this mean? We appreciate our location, our amenities, our green spaces, our historic flavor downtown, our … our … our … You can fill in the blanks! It is a great place to raise a family like we have done. It is a great place to make and connect with friends!

One of the best things about the people are the volunteers. We have many service clubs, boys and girls organizations including sports teams, event organizers etc. Our community would not be the same without our volunteers!! They do so much, they work so hard and make things happen!

So when you meet with others in our community, smile, it almost always gets a smile back! Say thanks or can I help or it was great to see you! We together can make a difference and make our city even better! Let’s do it!

Whole Truth or Half Truth

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I’m sure it comes at no surprise that often the “truth” we hear is not the whole truth. If we want to make good choices and good decisions, it is necessary to hear the most we can on any particular issue. So often, especially in the media, we hear only a small amount of the real story. We base so many of our opinions on this!!

As a prime example, as I recall, it was reported by the long standing newspaper in town, that the operation of the Lacombe Memorial Center was costing the City of Lacombe around $1,000,000.00 each year.  As reported, that was the truth, but in actuality only half the story. This information makes it sound like that building is outrageously expensive to operate and maybe we should consider alternate options. This made for a good story! Reporters often need to craft stories to sound so much better, “grandstanding” I call it, to have the story read and therefore, as a result, potentially even create some controversy which in turn creates more stories to report! Are they doing their job, yah, probably, but we do deserve more information!

Now for the rest of the story! In actuality, the LMC does cost the city around $1,000,000.00 per year, but the city also receives revenue on this amount to the tune of around $600,000.00, so therefore the net cost is really just under $400,000.00. WOW, what a difference that would have made in the story. Not near the same impact!

This type of “truth” has happened over and over again in the last three years! As citizens of Lacombe, you have the right to ask questions and get the truth! So many times during the last three years, I have heard comments about what was reported, particularly in a newspaper, so I told the “rest of the story” to make ensure each person was more informed. The City has initiated the use of social media including a blog and uses a local paper with information on two full pages regularly. If you want to know, start with these sources, and you can always contact myself or any other councilor and/or the mayor. Council also holds ‘Coffee with Council” twice yearly.

I want to be open and honest to our citizens about the operation of the City of Lacombe. That is part of my job as a city councilor. I am asking you to re-elect me, Peter Bouwsema, to council on October 21st so I can continue to do that.

Meet and Greet Oct 9th

Here is a great opportunity to chat, visit, express concerns and share your dreams for our great city, Lacombe. I will be holding a Meet and Greet on October 9th from 6pm to 9pm in the Lacombe Memorial Center County Room. Please come, share in some refreshments from Tim’s! I have invited Mayoral candidate Steve Christie to join in with this event so let us know what is on your mind and to show your support for our election on October 21! Let your friends and family know! We will love to see you all!

It’s only been three years . . . . . !!

It has been an honor and a privilege to be a City of Lacombe councilor for the past three years. I have enjoyed this experience immensely and wish to continue on for another four years. There has been SO much to learn and experience that leaving council at this point would be a disservice to our community. I have no intentions to do that so on October 21, 2013, please get out and vote! I will work to the best of my ability for this City that I love!

Read between the Signs!

We all know the adage “read between the lines”! It is a way of describing the need to understand there is probably more to the issue, story, comments etc. At this election period it seems we need to “read between the signs”. I truly hope that all our citizens in Lacombe will take the time to thoroughly do their due diligence to inform themselves of the platforms of each candidate prior to election day and then vote with knowledge. Take time to read, take time to listen and discuss!

With all the signage out right now,(as the city acknowledges with the news release on Sept 26, more signs than typical) please do not vote based on quantity, but on the candidate and their platform. I do NOT place any signs on private properties without permission from the owner. It is frustrating to me to know the city, with their news release, needed to inform our residents (and candidates) that permission is needed for sign placement on private property. I am aware of private property owners who have had signs placed without their permission. I then question, if the candidate cannot show enough respect for the rights of our citizens for their private properties, what will happen if they are elected? Will that same attitude of lack of respect prevail? I sure hope not.

I do listen, I am objective, I am committed, and I am approachable! I have the greatest respect for our citizens considering they had elected me in 2010 for city council and I respectfully request the same honor again for the next four years.

Please citizens, “READ BETWEEN THE SIGNS” !!