Mayor’s Column – March 15, 2017

Have you ever been lost? I know I have. Maybe you’ve been lost driving in a strange city, hiking in the wilderness, or like my wife and I, who inadvertently bicycled into the wrong neighborhood in the downtown east side of Vancouver on our tenth anniversary. Moving to a new community can bring the same uncertainty. Imagine, you are uprooted from everything that’s familiar to you, and dropped into a new surrounding. Where do you go? What is there to do? How do you meet people? Simple things that we, long term residents, take for granted can be unfamiliar to new residents. Where to get prescriptions filled, book clubs, activities for children, or cooking classes. Did some just think “Cooking Classes?” Yes, there is a Cooking Class in Chetwynd. Where do we as citizens, established and new, find out about such programs? At the Chetwynd Public Library!

There is a new program in town. The Chetwynd Community Ambassador Program. There are many people who move to Chetwynd that can benefit from an indoctrination into our community. In recent discussions with the Library Director, I have learned that the original function of a library was not to lend books. Many of us who have raised children in Chetwynd I’m sure appreciate the abundance of free programs at the library. However, the original purpose of a library was to be the focal meeting place of a community. This is part of the vision of the vibrant staff and board at our library.

This program will be useful to all citizens, new and established. If you are an established citizen, maybe you’ve fallen into complacency. Perhaps you are finding it difficult to find activities in town to enjoy. This program is available to you as well. There are book clubs, exercise programs, committees and societies looking for members. If you are an established resident that knows an abundance of activities in town, you may be someone that this program is looking for to volunteer or to provide information about the happenings in Chetwynd.

I must admit, I don’t know a lot about this program as of yet. It is my plan to drop in soon to see how it is progressing. If my experience at our local library holds true, they are here to serve our community’s needs, and there is no doubt that they will continue to do so in this capacity.. Whoever drops in asking for assistance will receive whatever they are looking for. Through these interactions, this program will develop quickly, based on what is needed by our citizens, new and established. This is a community initiative. If there are new groups and activities in town, let’s be sure to let the library know.

People reading this report will likely encounter new citizens to Chetwynd soon. Let us all do our part as Ambassadors of Chetwynd, and refer these folks to our Public Library so that they can experience all that we have grown to enjoy in our community.

 

Coun Bassendowski