Trail’s new mayor reiterated the importance of finding a new location for the city’s homeless shelter during her inaugural address Monday.
“The community has spoken,” Colleen Jones said. “I heard it on the campaign trail. Citizens want their community to be secure and to feel safe again. They want the shelter moved from the downtown core.”
As one of its final acts, the previous council agreed to extend the operating permit of the La Nina shelter for another year, with the proviso that BC Housing find another place to move it to temporarily while a long-term supportive housing project is sought.
Jones said she wants to “support the homeless community by finding suitable locations for housing, move the shelter and make sure necessary resources and supports are in place to have a positive impact.”
Jones said the community has also called for more development and housing and more respectful and inclusive relationships within city hall and between the city and other groups.
She said collaborating with businesses, addressing infrastructure concerns, and enhancing green spaces are also among her priorities.
She thanked the outgoing members of council, whom she noted had over 100 years of combined service.
Jones spent one term as a councillor before running for mayor against incumbent Lisa Pasin. In April, she also became the city’s regional district representative, after longtime director Robert Cacchioni stepped down from the position. However, she won’t continue to hold it. Council voted 5-2 Monday to instead give the position to councillor Terry Martin.
Councillor Thea Hanson nominated Martin, noting his experience as regional fire chief and his ongoing relationship with people who work at the regional district office, which is adjacent to the fire hall.
Jones, nominated by councillor Nick Cashol, said she has worked hard to build a “strong and respectful relationships,” and that she and Cacchioni had saved the city money.
When it came to the vote, however, all but Cashol and Jones voted for Martin. Jones was then chosen the alternate director over councillor Paul Butler.