Meet the Mayor
August 29, 2013
Other mysteries of the back rooms of local government, including the Regional District (RD) – well, there are no mysteries. Oh yes, some things including property transactions, union and contract negotiations, and personnel management processes cannot be conducted in public for obvious reasons. But virtually every other meeting is open to the public and notice of their time and place is posted in advance. So, if you really want to sit through a Water and Sewer Committee meeting, be there at 7:30 in the morning on the date of the meeting and learn all about it.
On the wider scope of District of Chetwynd-Regional District collaboration that I touched on last week you may be interested in some of the other touch points. Fire protection is one. The RD funds a large portion of the cost of keeping your fire insurance as low as it is. If you insist on knowing the exact figure of the RD contribution, that information is printed in the annual RD budget document. Peruse it at your leisure if you have a lot of leisure.
Can you think of areas in which Chetwynd and the RD are not yet collaborating? I’d like to hear from you because if there are potential savings to be realized by collaboration then we need to take advantage of them.
Northern Health and the District of Chetwynd have experienced some successful efforts at collaboration. Recruitment of medical staff is one example. I have mentioned before that recruitment and retention of medical personnel is a community responsibility. It still is. But we are pleased with the level of support we get from Northern Health.
When it comes to retention, however, it applies to all of us. It takes everyone to build a community that is attractive and welcoming. It takes work and there are costs. A big chunk of your tax dollars go into flowers, shrubs, and the wages of the people who do such a fine job of grooming our green and watering the plants – though this summer much watering seemed to be natural. A beautiful community seems to call out to all of us “You’re welcome; stay a while; put down roots.”
But welcoming is more than a public statement. You have to reach out personally to everyone and include her in your circle of life. This is personal commitment of personal time and your time is your life. Use it well.
You thought I was going to open to you the mysteries of the smoky back rooms. Sorry. The real work of local government is to nurture a community that you want to inhabit. Yes, we have to keep the water flowing and the holes in our streets patched, all part of a welcoming community, but the real work lies in planning for and encouraging the building of the home that you’ve always dreamed about. Growing this kind of community takes time, a lifetime, and your children will bless you for the effort.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor