Smoky Lake Signal – April 11, 2017

MLA satellite office a popular spot 

The doors of communication were literally opened on March 31 when Colin Piquette, MLA for Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater, sat down for the first time at a ‘pop-up’ satellite office in Smoky Lake.

While Piquette said people have always been welcome to call him and make an appointment – and he says he makes an effort to be in town for different events and to connect with his constituents – this new satellite office provides some with potentially easier access.

“I thought it went really well,” Piquette said of the first day. “The time we had open was fully subscribed.” The satellite office will be open on the last Thursday of each month and is located at the Town of Smoky Lake office in the council chambers. Piquette commented that he was appreciative of the Smoky Lake Town Council to give them the opportunity to use the location.

“The response was encouraging enough that it was something we are going to continue to do,” Piquette said, adding he looks forward to seeing if the response is similar in other communities.

If anyone wants to drop by, they are encouraged to do so but making an appointment might better guarantee time for conversation.

“If they pop in, they might find themselves having to wait a bit,” he said. There are chairs outside of the council chambers (located to the left of the front doors), and if anyone arrives to find the door locked they are welcome to stay and wait until it is opened from the private meeting in session.

If the conversation being had is open to the public, the door will be unlocked and open. There is no need to inform the Town staff of your visit, however, as they are a separate entity.

Piquette said he would also like to continue the pub nights that had been going on, and when one is happening it will be advertised on social media as well as in the newspaper.

These open-group environments will happen at the Smoky Lake Inn, though he is considering hosting one not located in the bar on some of the evenings; there is a conference room also available.

“There are some people who would like to come but are not comfortable going to a bar,” Piquette said.

More details will be released as the dates for these sessions draw closer.

“Since I’ve been elected we’ve been looking at other ways to engage,” he said, adding both the pub nights and the satellite office affords him some more of these opportunities.