What do you do?

Many people ask what I do as a councillor – for the month of April, I plan to blog and track what I do each day (or in the case that life gets busy I will catch up a few days in a single post) and how long I spend working on city council business. I hope that you will find this an interesting opportunity to gain insight into the month of a city councillor

Seeing as it’s now April 3rd, and I haven’t posted yet, you get a three-for-one special today!

Saturday, April 1  

Matt is away at the First Robotics Competition at Western this weekend, so I will be hanging out at home with the kids for the most part.  On Saturday, I took care of much-needed housework and spent time with the boys. I managed to work for about 2 hours – mostly a media scan of the week past, and reading minutes for the upcoming week.  I scanned emails and answered a few.  I also attended the Vimy Ridge 100th Anniversary dinner at the London Convention Centre from about 7:00 pm-10:00 pm.

Sunday, April 2nd

As indicated on Saturday, with Matt away, my focus is more on the kids than it is on work.  We celebrated my grandma’s 87th birthday with a brunch at Cora’s this morning.  After brunch, we went to the First Robotics competition to cheer on the local teams. Although I missed Councillor Squire who had to leave before I arrived, I did get to see Trustee Skinner who was a judge at the event.  Returning home around 4 pm I made dinner for the kids and worked in my home office for a while.  Mix in a little laundry and packing school lunches, then back to work in my home office. Matt got home around 9:30 pm – and I went into the office, as is my usual Sunday routine.  In the office, I worked on answering emails, my newsletter, and preparing for the week ahead! As a busy mom, I find that Sunday nights allow me the time to read all my reports for the week, and prepare myself – this way no matter what happens, I’m ready for meetings. I also scan my emails for anything that I am still waiting on an answer for from last week and send a gentle follow-up. I like to keep my inbox at zero, and my system means everything gets filed and tagged – then recalled if I’m still waiting for it.  So far, very few things have slipped through the cracks or have been missed – but surely there has to be a more efficient system out there? I made it home just before midnight.

Monday, April 3rd

Monday’s are usually a good day to get caught up on work, but this morning on of my kids had an appt at 9 am.  I was able to get to a little work between 7:30 and 8:30 while the boys were having breakfast and preparing for school.  The appointment was done by 9:30 and I was back at work by 10:00 am.  Worked on emails.  A lot of time over the past few days (weeks, months even) has been considering Rapid Transit. I am struggling with this decision, and am getting varied emails from supporters and non-supporters daily. How do I track the time I spend considering these decisions?

Today the SPPC (Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee) met from 4 pm – 6 pm.  This has to be a record for the shortest SPPC committee in a long time! I was unfortunately slightly late due to some last minutes family things.  I hate being late! If you know me, I’m always early.  I live-streamed the meeting until I arrived, only losing a short portion when I entered the parking garage at city hall (poor service).

After returning home, back to work I went – from 7 pm until about 11 pm.  I was able to get my monthly newsletter out, as well as start this blog about a month in the life of a city councillor.

I love what I do.  It consumes most every day of my life.  I was recently asked if it’s the event’s I enjoy the most – but no.  What I enjoy the most is the people. Last week, one of our neighbours contacted me about a problem he is having in the park.  He used to take care of the park and paths near his home, with regular clean ups.  Due to his declining mobility, he is no longer able to and is concerned. Tomorrow, he and I are going to go for a walk in the park, and take a look at the issues, as well as brainstorm some potential solutions.  That is my favorite part.  I get to go be with my neighbours and help to solve problems.

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