Quesnel mayor, Mary Sjostrom has been chosen as president of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).
“I feel very excited to be in this position,” Sjostrom said.
“I’ve made my way up and gone from third vice-president to second vice-president to finally becoming president.
“It’s been a goal of mine.”
Having already been an executive member of UBCM for eight years, Sjostrom is looking forward to using her experience and knowledge during her term as president.
“My past years at UBCM have helped me gain experience, which will be an asset as president,” she explained.
“I’ve learned it’s about partnerships.”
Sjostrom will have a group of assistants who will be able to attend events which would require Sjostrom to travel.
“If there’s a 30 minute event in the Lower Mainland, I can send one of the assistants to that,” Sjostrom explained.
“I don’t want to be on that plane once or twice a week.”
Although she will try to limit her traveling within the province to be an efficient president, Sjostrom will be traveling to Ottawa in November.
“Being president of UBCM means I will be representing the area as a whole to different associations,” she said.
“I’ll be traveling to Ottawa in November to present resolutions UBCM has been working on as well as lobby the government.”
Sjostrom was pleased with the attendance at this year’s convention, noting three out of the four first nations municipalities and districts were represented.
At the 2012 UBCM convention, 222 resolutions were submitted, of which 174 were admitted for debate.
Of those, 156 resolutions were endorsed, the same number as during the 2011 convention.
As part of Sjostrom’s presidency, she will be creating a Twitter account, to be able to quickly relay information to those who will follow her account.
“Having a Twitter account is a requirement for UBCM president,” Sjostrom explained.
“I’ve never had a Twitter account, I’ve never tweeted, so I’m looking forward to using this new platform to communicate.”
Although being the president of UBCM will take Sjostrom away from Quesnel, she feels she’ll be able to juggle the two commitments well.
“I’m going to be very busy, but it’s not going to take away from my work as the mayor of the city of Quesnel,” she said.
Incorporated by an Act of the provincial legislation in 1959, UBCM aims to “represent and serve all local governments in BC,” according to their mission statement.
Keep checking back in your Observer for updates on Sjostrom’s UBCM presidency.