General News

A Day in the Life with Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson

August 6, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ALYSSA PARKHILL

Have you always wondered what some people do in their daily lives? What their day-to-day tasks include and what their challenges are?

Well, we here at the Citizen have decided to take an inside look into some of our most important people and interesting professions. First up, what better way to launch this new feature than by taking a sneak peek into the daily life of Mayor Allan Thompson. 

Mayor Thompson’s day starts off at 5:30 in the morning, so he can get out of the house and make his visit to some of the local businesses as they open up at 6 a.m. Well, on a typical day that is. Everything has been flipped upside down for everyone, Mayor Thompson included, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s much different with COVID-19 in place. It’s a different kind of busy,” he explained. “I will say I think my wife and family are thrilled that I’m home every night for dinner. There’s a lot of times, maybe three times a week, I might be home, sometimes it might even be one night a week.”

He always tries to be out in the public as early as 6 a.m. 

“It’s a good way to get the pulse of what’s going on in the area,” he said. 

Meetings usually take place for Mayor Thompson in the mornings, depending on the day, which sometime last until the afternoon. Each day poses different conversations, new or repetitive issues, and constant communication with the community. 

“It’s 8 a.m. till 5 p.m., every day. There’s always something going on. Even on the weekends, there’s always social functions, and there’s always issues” he explained. “We’re finding where there’s problems, whether we have the public trespassing on properties or something going on, daily issues, or meeting with residents, but the work still has to get done.”

The Mayor’s schedule never looks the same. Like the rest of us over the past few months, he has had to adapt to the constantly changing world we live in, to keep himself, his family, the community and his staff safe from the COVID-19 virus. 

“It’s five days a week of WebEx video calls, going from one screen to another. But what I find is sometimes, you’re doing more of these than driving out with feet on the ground. It’s just a different kind of busy, and sometimes emotionally draining,” he described. “You don’t have that time to power down or even the small talk and engaging with people. With WebEx, the action starts right away.”

Mayor Thompson finds in his day-to-day life during the pandemic, there is a constant need to be prepared. With his days fast paced, and packed to the brim with work, the need to be organized and ready is stronger than ever. 

“You’ve really got to be prepped before going into meetings. Have to be prepared, and homework done. When you are home at night, you’re also thinking about the next day, and getting yourself prepped,” he observed. 

“Also reaching out to the community. Community engagement is huge,” he added.  

While he is longing for the day when things get back to how they were pre-COVID, Mayor Thompson knows that this is the new normal for the time being, and he will have to learn to adapt and overcome. 

“I was speaking to the finance committee at the Province for their fall economic statement that they’re wanting to implement, and the way they’re forecasting is going to be three years, right before we see any kind of normal. It’s to find that balance. We’re too much one way,” he said. “I think we’re going to see more technology here. I think it’ll be convenient for people where they don’t have to travel, it might be able to get everybody to attend a meeting better. But I think there has to be a balance to it.”

He added, “There’s a lot of opportunities that we’re going to see how we can operate and function much better, but I do know there’s some things that we need to get back to the normal in a lot of ways, mainly community engagement.”

Ensuring he remains engaged with the community is the most important, and probably the most challenging thing Mayor Thompson has faced since the pandemic hit five months ago. Where before, going out into the public was a main priority, that has had to be limited due to the virus. But, he hopes to see it come back in the near future.

“The public really wants to know what’s going on, the good information,” he said. “The community engagement isn’t like we normally do, and we’ve got to get that back. It’s the only way we keep ourselves whole as a community.”



         

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