As Houston’s newly elected council members were preparing to be sworn in on Nov. 6, Houston Today asked them what they plan to do during their first 100 days in office.
Here’s what Mayor Shane Brienen and Councillors Jonathan Van Barneveld and Tom Stringfellow had to say.
Brienen: Our main priority for the first 100 days will be to work together and prepare ourselves for the four-year term. We have already had all of new council attend a three-day orientation at the District of Houston office to help everyone understand the roles and responsibilities of council and staff, and also to get a better of understanding of how municipal government works. The new council will be sworn in on Nov. 6 and will start going about the regular business of council meetings from that point on, and in December hopefully begin some extra meetings to start the yearly budget process. We also will be attending a one-day legal seminar pertaining to local government. In mid-November we will work with senior staff on strategic planning and set priorities and goals for the coming year. In January there will be some further training seminars provided by the Local Government Leadership Academy.
Van Barneveld: The first 100 days are a critical period for a new council. It’s an important time to foster new working relationships and set the next four years on the right track. Right off the bat, we will be forming our strategic plan and developing a balanced budget to achieve these goals. I think Houston is in a great place right now and I would like to develop new ideas and opportunities to promote the town and attract new residents and businesses.
Stringfellow: During the first 100 days in office I’d like to get to know my newly elected council members and work collaboratively as a team to achieve goals set out in our strategic plan to improve all aspects of the community. My priorities include working towards improving health care needs for all citizens, adding more residential care beds in Houston and advocating for 24-hour care for seniors. I believe in allowing citizens to continue living in the community instead of being forced to move for better health care. I also plan to work with municipal staff to ensure we don’t miss opportunities such as grants to help fund projects, and to be approachable to all citizens.
Councillors Tim Anderson, Troy Reitsma, Lisa Makuk and Tom Euverman did not respond by press time.