When I began working as the reporter for The Headliner a year ago, I didn’t know much about your communities.
I’ll admit it: like most Winnipeggers, I was quite oblivious about what goes on in the small communities encircling Winnipeg’s north, west and south sides. Sure, I’d driven through Headingley on my way further west, and I’d passed by Oak Bluff and Sanford when visiting friends in Carman years ago. But for the most part, I didn’t have a good idea of how your communities are growing and changing.
I’ve now had a year in which to find out what issues you are facing and to meet some of you in person. I’ve slowly come to know who is in charge of what within the five municipalities The Headliner covers. My predecessor, Prescott James, left me a list of contact names and numbers, but I’ve spent many hours going through municipal websites, reading council meeting minutes and agendas, looking for story ideas and trying to figure out how the landscape is changing in your area.
I’ve certainly had some help from municipal councillors and staff in terms of learning the history of and background for some issues — thanks for that. Not being an actual resident of any of the five municipalities is a disadvantage, and I appreciate any messages sent in alerting me to events and activities happening in your area, or to issues that you feel are important.
Overall, I’ve been impressed with the optimism that can be felt in your communities. Your municipal rolls are growing as more urbanites leave the city for the country life. The extra tax revenue they bring with them is needed to pay for the infrastructure now required because of the communities’ growth.
The Headingley and La Salle Chambers of Commerce are active and help to support new business owners setting up shop. Community Futures White Horse Plains and Triple R also have programs designed to foster local business owners’ skills to help them expand.
I look forward to meeting more of you and being able to showcase your talents and promote your events.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me and share your ideas.