Let the learning begin

For the next 100 days southlandtimes.co.nz will follow newly elected Invercargill City Councillor Rebecca Amundsen.

She's not an unfamiliar face to people  who live in Glengarry, or those who voted for her.

She's a mother, a landlord, a project leader and now a city councillor.

But this isn't just our project, it's yours too.

Get involved by posting comments, asking questions and answering polls each week as we follow Rebecca's first days in office.

Each week Rebecca will also write about her council musings.

Week two on the council is going to be all about learning I think. 

That is mostly because this week includes two and half days of Local Government New Zealand training especially for new elected members.

Day one of the training included some serious information but also involved a break to watch the Melbourne Cup- it can't be all work and no play.

Learning all this information is all well and good but I was also keen to get inside the council building and see what goes on in there.

So I asked my Crossfit friend and Invercargill City Council corporate planner Melissa Short if she could take me on a wee tiki-tour.

I have been in the building before for various reasons, but not to every floor.

I discovered there are a lot of busy people in that building doing a massive range of tasks.

I am looking forward to becoming more familiar with the building and its contents during the next three years.

This week the A2B Yacht Race featured in the news and this meant I received my first council related call from The Southland Times.

In the past I have talked to journalists frequently regarding events I have helped organise or activities I have been involved in - all largely positive, community things. 

It is going to take some getting used to having to comment on controversial things like this. 

On a positive note I also met with a CBD building owner and a group of local ladies who have started a market in the Pall Mall Arcade.

They have some grassroots ideas to revitalize their part of town and were keen to find out how they could be involved in the council's inner city upgrade.

Like many people they don't know how to get involved in something like this and have their say.

I am honoured that they asked me for support and I will do what I can get them involved in this process.

Enthusiasm like theirs is what we need to harness as we look to the future of the inner city and what it should look like.

* If you have questions you want Rebecca to answer email them here