Councillor Russell Walker
On behalf of the UNSM Board of Directors, I want to welcome all newly elected officials to our organization. I look forward to meeting you over the course of the year at various UNSM sessions. Feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions or concerns. My email address is ; my cell number is 497-7215.
The orientation for newly elected officials recently held in Truro was a huge success with well over 100 new councillors in attendance. I provided welcoming remarks on behalf of UNSM. As someone with 18 years experience in municipal politics, my main piece of advice to the delegates was not to get too stressed out with all the information put before you. The role of a municipal elected official is one of constant learning and it takes time to get up to speed. Attending the orientation was a good first step as it provided the delegates with important information on council-staff relations, municipal finance, communications and municipal law. A special thanks to SNSMR staff for organizing this important session.
On November 29 the inaugural Ken Simpson Municipal Lecture Series took place at Dalhousie University's Potter Auditorium. This free event promotes topics of municipal interest and honours the life of Ken Simpson who served as UNSM Executive Director for 19 years, from 1990-2009. Ken passed away tragically from cancer on April 17, 2011 at the age of 51. With approximately 100 in the crowd, the event was well attended. Our keynote speaker was Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University. Dr. Duxbury gave an excellent talk on strategies municipalities can use to retain and attract employees given current conditions of an aging workforce and youth out-migration. The lecture series was presented by the UNSM in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University. A special thank you to SNSMR's Mark Peck who served as Master of Ceremonies for this event.