Victoria is once again fully represented with the appointment of Alvin Hebert to the Victoria City Council on Feb. 8, 2021. The four sitting members of the Council appointed Hebert after several rounds of interviews during a Special Council Meeting on Monday evening. A total of eight candidates were interviewed, and Hebert was appointed when the Council passed a unanimous vote after the final round of interviews. He will be sworn in during the Regular Council Meeting on Feb. 22, 2021.
Although he does not have prior experience in public service, Hebert — a resident of Victoria for 18 years — brings what the City Council has described as a welcomed perspective to the leading governance body of Victoria.
“My vision for Victoria is to see it continue to thrive into a city that welcomes everyone,” Hebert noted during the interview process.
“We have to value our people, and the other things will come in place, but I want Victoria to stand out as a place where it truly cares about its people.”
During the interview, Hebert also talked through his vision for Victoria, which included ensuring an inclusive and diverse community, as well as continuing the city’s strategic development and economic growth while maintaining Victoria’s small-town charm.
Council Member Derek Gunderson, elected this past November, cast his vote for Hebert after the final round of interviews by noting that he was looking at the candidates’ commitment to the community and community support. Gunderson noted that several community members reached out to him to show their support for Hebert.
“To me, that plays a role in our decisions because those are the people that put us in our seats,” Gunderson stated. “Those are the people that we’re making decisions for, so to not take their input would be a disservice to the seat and to the community.”
Hebert says his commitment to the community of Victoria began when he felt the support of his neighbors while raising money over several years for families with kids that have Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes intellectual or developmental delays. Hebert and his wife, Colleen, started the charity event after their second child was born with Down Syndrome, and they felt the need to help support other families. They have been able to raise more than $300,000 over the years with the support of community members.
“That is when I was proud to call Victoria home,” Hebert points out in his initial Letter of Interest to the Council.
Although Hebert’s commitment to the community led him to applying for the vacant seat, he says his professional experience has prepared him for a leadership role in the city. His professional experience ranges from commodity trading to risk management to IT program management.
During the interviews, Hebert acknowledged that this is a new type of opportunity for him. When asked what three attributes he possesses that make him the most qualified candidate, he listed his leadership skills, his natural curiosity, and his ability to learn — attributes he says will help him as he represents the voices of the community.
With two years left in his term (filling the vacancy left when former Council Member Debra McMillan was elected mayor last November), Hebert says he plans to dedicate his time, passion, and energy to the city with an emphasis on transparency and honesty.
“The only agenda that matters, is that of the residents of Victoria,” said Hebert. “That will be my focal point — understanding their needs and representing them to the best of my ability.”
Hebert lives in the Savanna Valley neighborhood of Victoria with his wife and three children.