As the 2020 year draws to an end and with Christmas only a few days away, it's time to look back and reflect on what has been the craziest year in my memory.
The impact of Covid-19 has completely changed our lives and the way we will do things it the future. From lockdowns to Zoom meetings, life has changed but we have turned the corner and the future is looking brighter.
Despite the disruptions, council managed to deliver all its normal services as well as an incredible volume of work towards our Long Term Plan. Then add in our "shovel ready" projects and to say it has been a hectic year would seem like an understatement. Our staff and elected members have done a great job throughout.
Notable projects have progressed. The 33 residential sections in the council subdivision have all sold, the improvements and seal work on SH43 has started. The children's bike park construction is under way and the new aquatic centre is ready to start construction in February. Overall around $39 million in government funding has been received for multiple projects.
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After 11 years in the role as mayor I still feel privileged to work with the many organisations and people who share a common pride in the district we live in. It never fails to amaze me how dedicated, supportive and passionate people are about our community.
Christmas is a time for giving and celebration, but we should still take time to think of those families who are in need and find life in general a real struggle. This year the pandemic has added substantially to those numbers.
Those who find themselves in positions less fortunate than many of us, really do appreciate the support offered from the broader community. As always the Mayoral Xmas gift appeal has been very well supported and we are grateful to those who have donated cash or gifts. Last week we had the pleasurable job of distributing the gifts to local families.
Once again the Stratford volunteer community has continued to be extremely generous and supportive of each other under really difficult circumstances this year. I thank the large number of volunteers who have given up their personal time to participate in sport, clubs, organisations and services.
In closing, I express my special thanks to the many people who in different ways, assist me in my role as district mayor. On behalf of Debbie and myself, please stay safe on the roads, have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Mayor Neil Volzke