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Our Leader Spotlight – Rachelle Larocque

Interim Manager of Planning, City of Welland

This series is dedicated to introducing and celebrating the participants of the ACL+ 2021 program. Each week, we will focus on one of our leaders, sharing a little bit about them and what motivates them to explore community leadership in Niagara.

Rachelle is the Interim Manager of Planning with the City of Welland and has worked in the Niagara Region for the past thirteen years, with a focus on development planning.

She holds a Master’s of Science in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo.

Rachelle currently resides in Welland with her husband and two cats.

Why are you personally motivated to explore civic leadership?

As a City Planner, I am at the forefront of watching the development of a community and see what investments are being made within a community. I have an important role to play to ensure that the development is appropriate and will help the community thrive. It’s an important platform to have and requires a great deal of public consultation.

It’s important to respond to the questions and comments from the public in a forthright and honest manner, and ensure that even if people do not agree with you, they do not lose your respect.

What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?

A significant issue that is facing all communities is the lack of public washroom facilities.

This has been highlighted during the Covid-19 Pandemic but has been present for some time. This impacts a range of citizens and can be a barrier to people leaving their house and engaging in the community.

It also becomes an issue for people who are homeless or precariously housed as they have no access to facilities for basic hygiene, such as washing their hands with clean water or relieving themselves.

Lack of public washroom facilities creates a barrier for people with medical issues who need access to washrooms, as well as women and children.

What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?

I hope to become a more assertive leader while continuing to be compassionate and understand the needs of employees and others in the workplace.

June 7th, 2021