Meet the Mayor
January 14, 2015
Chetwynd has been experiencing a few days that remind us of what winter has been like and, even now, can be like here in the southern fringes of the great North. Cold! Finger-tingling cold! Funny, when I’m out shoveling snow and icicles hang from my mustache over a frosty beard I can still taste the salt of my sweat. But what a good feeling to step back into the warm embrace of my house and sense the sharp return of life to my fingers!
On days such as these I feel profound respect for all workers who have to brave the assaults of untamed nature to keep the wheels of community turning. Oh, yes, most operators of District equipment are protected much of the time from the raw assaults of the elements. But not all workers, not everywhere, and not all the time. Some jobs just have to be accomplished in the teeth of the gale – jobs like changing a grader tire on a lonely industrial road; jobs like welding a broken skidder grapple on the logging site, or hanging a transformer on the top of a pole in the cold, windy dark. These, along with unnamed others, are some jobs that keep this community alive and functional.
As many of you have experienced, the deep freeze of winter is troublesome even for soulless equipment. They are harder to start; harder to keep running; parts break more frequently. So it is with District snowplows, dump trucks, excavators, and other equipment. Yet it must keep running so you can keep moving with some degree of certainty.
You’ve heard of the affect of deep winter on the functioning of Chetwynd’s septic treatment facility – it doesn’t work at peak efficiency. One of the responsibilities of the District is to keep it functioning within the parameters mandated by the MOE. District responsibility becomes that of the workers assigned to the job and everything from on-site snow removal to electrical maintenance and parts replacement becomes more difficult, troublesome, and painful.
I, from the comfort of my office, seldom take time to appreciate their work. I’d be quite aware of their absence if the water stopped running or if the snow piled up on our streets for days. Yes, I’d notice. So this week I’m just writing a few thoughts in appreciation of the benefits we all receive from the faithful attention to duty by all our outside workers – not that we wouldn’t be a little astonished if they didn’t give faithful attention to duty. We know that faithfulness to duty is ingrained in their characters; and we do enjoy the benefits of that faithfulness.
Our hats go off to the workers who are not afraid of the cold, to all workers who go out into the jaws of the gale keeping the rest of us safe and comfortable. We thank you for the work you do. But, by your leave, we’ll keep our hats on if it’s really cold.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor