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Mayor’s Column – May 14, 2014

Meet the Mayor

May 14, 2014

How do we get from here to there unless we are sure where there is? And how do we know where there is if we can’t see beyond here? It’s a dilemma, isn’t it? But maybe we can take some tentative steps to find out both present location and optimum destination.

One of the major destinations understood by this Council and Mayor is an adequate, stable, contented physician pool to tell us when we are sick and oversee the cure. It’s a big and important element in the life of any community. I am certain that you would not be happy with your elected representatives if we neglected this essential component.

Well, we haven’t been neglecting physician recruitment although we confess to not yet having arrived at our destination.

Here’s where you should enter the picture.  It would be helpful if Council and Mayor had an idea of your perspective of destination – perhaps route to destination would be the better way of expressing our need for information.

As Council and Mayor understand the situation, the present medical clinic is no longer adequate to accommodate the needs of the population it serves. If that is so, it would seem to be a no brainer that a new clinic should be built in town, and as soon as possible. The next question: by whom?

Council and Mayor through Administration have had conversations with potential developers but the recent announcement on mine closures has cooled any ardour that was developing.  Too bad for the developers. We believe in Chetwynd and are not frightened by a temporary or longer-term closure of a mine. Chetwynd will live and continue to prosper. Our citizens will continue to enjoy the benefits of life in this most-beautiful corner of the great North East.

But we do need a stable, comprehensive medical service. And I think we have good, solid roots for the plant we want to grow here.

Our preference is to find a developer who will take on the project and build it to the new, high standards of the District of Chetwynd. There has to be someone out there – either resident in Chetwynd or from outside with the vision to do the job.

But if not, if the developer does not come forward, there is an alternate route that could see active progress toward our goal underway this summer and completed within a year. This is where you come into the picture in a big way. Council, Mayor, and Administration will have to know your mind absolutely clearly before we would move forward on this route.

Briefly said, Council’s role would be to build the facility based on a sound business plan and lease it to the doctors. There would be no assistance given. Each would pay fair market price for space in the facility.

Immediate advantages include, beyond the obvious, a more effective physician recruitment effort and much better service to the residents of Chetwynd and surrounding countryside.

Merlin Nichols, Mayor