FALL RIVER: Steve Streatch knows he has a lot of work ahead of him.
Just moments after his Oct. 15 HRM municipal election win was confirmed, the Elderbank resident acknowledged he has been given the trust of 2,245 people in Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley who cast their vote in his name.
Now he has to work to keep that trust through the next four years.
“I’m going to have an open door approach as the new councillor,” said Streatch. “I want to have an open door regardless of who people supported in the election.
“It’s about doing the best for the communities we live in. It’s about doing the best for the municipality.”
He said going out of public life four years ago was the best thing for him. He went back to the private sector.
“This is like it’s new again,” he said. “When you’re in a position like I was for 13 years, elected four times, it becomes the norm. But after you’ve been out and you go back at it, it’s a whole new experience.”
Streatch said four years ago it was clear the people weren’t quite ready for his message.
“Today it’s very clear they heard our message and they’re looking forward to the style of representation that I offer, the open approach as it relates to taxation, services, and as it relates to the business of HRM,” he said.
He reiterated that as of Nov.1 he will be a full-time councillor for HRM District 1.
“I have made it clear to my family that I will be stepping back from my business responsibilities,” said Streatch. “I have five young sons that are just waiting in the wings for their opportunity. I think this is great as it relates to providing opportunities for people in our family business.”
Streatch said he and wife Marilyn will begin the process of looking for a place to live in a more centralized location in Fall River once son Samson is done high school; he’s in Grade 12 this year.
“We’re going to have a look for a home that suits our needs,” he said. “I have always believed that when you represent a district as big as District 1, that you be centrally located,” he said.
He does have some top priorities he has his eyes on to work on first. Among those include getting reacquainted to the area, setting up his office in the district; setting up his office at city hall; and making acquaintances with his colleagues on regional council.
“The first thing any elected member has to do is become comfortable with the staff,” Streatch said. “It’s been four years since I was in city hall.”
Streatch said it feels good to have the “councillor” label back before his name as he works for the people.
“It feels very natural,” he said.
He said as he has matured his style has changed.
“With the experiences I have come through, some personal health problems and as you grow, your perspective changes,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to representing this area.”