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It’s a wrap: Mayor Cawley unpacks 2023, prepares for a new year

Posted on January 4, 2024 by Vauxhall Advance

By Cal Braid
Vauxhall Advance
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nine years ago, when Kim Cawley was asked if she would be interested in running for town council in Vauxhall, she signed up and jumped in. She thought it would add value to her time and allow her to give something back to the community. Fast forward to Oct. 2023, when, after a lengthy stint on council and serving two years as deputy mayor, she was nominated for the position of mayor. Again, she went all in, accepting the role and committing herself to it.

Cawley is familiar with the inner workings of town council, and is making the adjustment to her expanded leadership role. “I’m finding my new role to be enjoyable and challenging at the same time,” she said. “I’m so thankful I have a supportive husband and family, who understand the need for me to be away from home more often, but also are happy to attend events with me when they’re able to do so.”

Council’s new strategic plan includes a ‘Vision for Vauxhall’, a directive that places value on small-town charm, a vibrant business environment, diversity, safety, and collaboration. Expanding on those themes, Cawley spoke about her desire to implement new levels of openness and communication in town matters. “I feel that community engagement and feedback is so important, and I would like to give more opportunity for the community to speak freely and respectfully about their concerns, ideas, or ask questions on a regular basis. I have seen the M.D. of Taber host a ‘coffee with councillors,’ and I’d like to do the same in Vauxhall at least every six months or so. We have a desire to be transparent and to have better communication with the community, and so I think this would be one helpful step in moving that direction.”

She said her goal is to be visible in town and to attend at least one or two community events every month, outside of her regular mayoral duties. “So far, I’ve enjoyed a U9 hockey game, VHS senior high basketball games, the Community Carol Festival, and a community supper. I’d very much appreciate a heads up or invite to events in and around the town.”

In reviewing the demands and achievements of 2023, she was realistic and optimistic, “We are heading into our second by-election in less than a year, so of course that presents some challenges with shuffling around committees and providing new training. But it’s a good refresher for the rest of council as well.”

“Some great projects were completed on the public works side, one being the sanitary system. We are working on upgrading the sanitary outflow system leaving town to alleviate current and prevent future sewer issues. This is a huge upgrade and expense, one that’s been long overdue, so we are happy to see it getting started in the engineering phases. There were many smaller projects as well that have been completed; sanitary lift station pumps, landfill upgrades, a new pool boiler installed, cemetery flood mitigation.”

Moving forward into 2024, she remains enthusiastic and optimistic. “I think we have a great vision going into the new year, and we want to continue to make Vauxhall a desirable place to live, work and play!”

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