Meet the Mayor
January 16, 2014
The relationship between the District of Chetwynd and the Peace River Regional District is probably a little vague to most of the in-town dwellers. As it should be. Much activity out in the boonies goes on without your notice. That said, I don’t want you to suppose that what happens out there doesn’t matter. It matters a lot and the PRRD Board and Administration are working hard to make things work in the best interest of all of us.
Given the controversy that raged for months over the building bylaw, you might be forgiven for thinking that the allegations flying about were true. I’ll forgive you. Not to say that some mistakes were not made (I haven’t met any super humans in the Board or Administration), but nothing was done with malicious intent and, in the end, those who don’t want and those who do want have their needs met.
In a democratic society it is not the majority who must always get its way. Solutions must always be found for accommodating the legitimate needs of minorities. For now we have a workable solution. No doubt improvements to the means will come to light in months and years ahead. That’s why a Board always endeavours to engage the services of the most experienced, intelligent, and honest Administration as we have.
With that episode behind us we are now free to get on with the business at hand. For some reason, the most popular business in the Regional District has to do with land-use issues. Next to bylaws, land use probably carries the greatest potential for dispute – between neighbours, between developers and the PRRD, between land owners who want to keep the status quo and those who seek financial opportunity in change. Through developing comprehensive Official Community Plans, zoning and building regulations, and, dare I use the word, bylaws, the PRRD seeks to serve as far as possible the best interests of all area residents. A daunting task!
There is a significant working relationship between the PRRD and the District of Chetwynd. The PRRD owns a number of facilities within town and funds others. This means that if you happen to live on an acreage where you have the freedom to feed your chicks and tickle your piggy every morning before work you are also contributing through your taxes to facilities within town – that you might never use. Sorry; that’s life in century 21. But it’s appreciated in town.
A good relationship example is the Chetwynd and District Recreation Centre. Owned by the Peace River Regional District, managed by the District of Chetwynd, and funded by everyone even if everyone doesn’t use it. It’s a magnificent facility. If you haven’t dipped in its pool, tested its weights, bladed its ice, or swept before the rock, you owe yourself a treat. Test it out.
Other very important areas of overlapping interest include the Fire Department, Cemetery, Landfill, and Museum. Try living or dying without those services.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor