LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “At the end of the day, good decision-making comes down to a good process. But it also relies on wisdom in terms of balanced advice,” stated Peter Steblin, Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Coquitlam

Note to Reader:

The edition of Waterbucket eNews published on February 23, 2021 featured the City of Coquitlam, British Columbia’s 6th largest municipality with a population of 140,000. The City Manager, Peter Steblin, provided insight into what he believes is achievable when the working relationship between a City Council and Staff is founded on mutual respect and is in balance.

“The Three Ts” – Trust, Time, Think

“Pete Steblin is a city manager and a professional engineer. He has an extensive background in both drinking water and liquid waste, was the Chair of the Canadian Water Network for 10 years, and was selected as one of North America’s Top 10 Public Works Leaders by the American Public Works Association.” stated Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“One of Peter Steblin’s trademark qualities is to “tell it like it is”. Case in point –in 2003, the City of Coquitlam amended its Official Community Plan and pioneered a watershed-based approach to community planning. We told that story in our Watershed Case Profile Series.”

“After the Partnership released A Celebration of Our Story on the 10th anniversary of incorporation, Peter Steblin reached out to me with a story idea. We then had a conversation, and the outcome is an article that I hope readers will find illuminating. Peter’s ‘story behind the story’ is insightful and has universal application. His storyline is built around three words of wisdom: Trust, Time and Think.”

“Staff gives good advice and Council makes the decision”

“When I reflect on the big picture beyond the City of Coquitlam, I believe that society has lost the ability to discern what is truly important or how to apply judgement. In the process, accountability is lost, and buzz words are used to mask the lack of a proper business case,” stated Peter Steblin.

“At the City of Coquitlam, we try very hard to ensure our organization always makes decisions based on a wide variety of factors. But through it all, we have our feet planted very firmly on the ground. It is simply a matter of taking whatever issue is before us, analyzing it, and being wise with respect to how to do things.”


To read the complete article, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Balance is Key to Good Government.