Internal communication at the City of Duncan was a major issue tackled by Michelle Bell during her first term on Duncan city council, and in her second term, she wants to address the way the municipal government communicates with the rest of the community.
During Bell’s first term on council she helped initiate an internal communications audit and a respect covenant that was signed by all but one member of council.
"Some people think that I’m a bleeding heart, but I believe that at the heart of everything, the way we deal with conflict predicts how we’re going to interact," she said, explaining that those relationships, in turn, determine how the city functions.
Bell is trying to change politics from the inside.
"I don’t like how politics currently is, how we communicate and act towards each other and make decisions," Bell said.
Incumbent councillors and hopefuls are knocking on doors right now, and Bell sees that as a valuable way to connect with residents. Unfortunately, she notes, that only happens at election time, and longer terms aren’t going to help that.
"You learn so much going doorto-door, but that’s only going to happen every four years," she said. "We’re getting farther away from the community. I don’t believe that people don’t care. I just think we don’t reach people."
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Bell wants to accomplish as a councillor.
"I’ve been enjoying it," she said. "I’ve had a good experience so far, and I’m still interested in it. And there’s still lots to be done in Duncan. I don’t think it’s ever ending."