Meet the Mayor
August 22, 2013
A usually unnoticed relationship of our sociopolitical system is the close connection between the municipalities and other authorities such as the Regional District, Northern Health, BC Hydro, the School Districts, and a wide range of provincial ministries. You probably know in a vague sort of way that the Mayor sits on the Regional District Board participating in Regional District decisions on zoning, bylaws, land use, solid waste management, and other areas of life in our society. And we also lament our inability to manage in other areas of importance to all of us such as air quality control and water use.
I know, most of you just want to go on with your getting and spending without interference of government of any kind. It’s a natural human want; I am quite familiar with the sentiment. But the more we reproduce our kind and the closer we have to live together, the greater the necessity of some form of recognized rules for safe and respectful interaction and management of our resources. These rules are written in the bylaws and regulations that local governments enact from time to time.
One example of close cooperation among levels of government is highly visible in Chetwynd right now. The Right-in-right-out access to the Rec Centre involves three levels of government in close cooperation. Chetwynd needs the access to reduce congestion and increase safety of citizens as they use the Centre for recreation and amusement. The Regional District, as the legal owner of the facility, has a vested interest in facilitating access to the services it provides. The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure is responsible for safe movement of users of the highway. With financial contributions from each entity, the project is in progress under the supervision of the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.
Chetwynd benefits from other results of close collaboration. Surerus Place, our lovely home for senior citizens tucked cosily into a nook in the hill beside Windrem Creek involved several entities including the private sector. Land was made available by private donation; the District of Chetwynd provided road access and utilities; and the province contributed the building. Overseeing and coordinating this very successful venture were dedicated private individuals working tirelessly as a Society.
The Chetwynd solid waste landfill, better known as the dump, is another result of the cooperation of different levels of government. The provincial government is involved in regulating through the Ministry of the Environment and in land acquisition. The Regional District owns the land, sets the tipping fees, and manages the operations. The District of Chetwynd picks up your garbage and delivers it to the landfill. Deplored by all responsible citizens are the actions of those few irresponsible folk who think nothing of violating the rights of the majority by dumping their garbage at the side of the road – utterly shameful and deplorable.
Another day I will write about some of the other cooperative relationships that help to keep the wheels of society turning.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor