By George

I am writing this on Saturday, March 20, 2004. As you know, I have failed to oust the president of the United States, despite my best efforts to give my reasons for his abdication.

In Tumbler Ridge, at this moment, a person has made a public statement to the news media on the Dawson Creek television station that our town?s mayor and council should be removed from office. I did not hear this but this was told to me by a former resident of Dawson Creek, and now living here and who was listening to the 6:00pm news on Friday evening from Dawson Creek.

As a former mayor of this town and one who considers this Shangri la, and never wants to leave, I find this to be most offensive.

It is now Saturday and it has been a difficult time to get facts. It is a gorgeous day, and any right minded person will be out enjoying the day and not waiting for a phone call from me, or anyone else with nothing better to do. However, if I want to express my opinion, time has almost run out for this week?s column.

Yes, there is controversy in town. Our MLA Blair Lekstrom was invited to come to a group of people in town regarding the development of a hotel to be constructed from the site of a former apartment. I attended this meeting and listened to the discussion. It was a closed meeting and the media were not invited. Also, one town employee was asked to leave. The assumption I held was that this was not for publication and was held to gain insight into the methods which might be available for action if necessary if indeed something had been done by council which should be addressed by the Province, or by the residents.

In my opinion, as a resident and invited guest to the meeting, none of us should have made any attempt to malign the present council based on the information gained from the candid remarks of our MLA and other speakers at this meeting.

As this town is recovering from the effects of having over eighty percent of the taxation revenue removed when the two mines left, there will naturally be concern for how we will keep balancing the town?s books. To me, it is reasonable to expect that we will have to pay for what we get in services, and keep a tight rein on expenditures. However, as this council is learning as it goes, it is also reasonable to expect they will make errors as they become more knowledgeable. There is no doubt that all legal matters were addressed by a firm of lawyers who are well respected in the Province and that nothing was done illegally. I have great respect for anyone seeking public office and know that they will never achieve the billionaire status from their stipends.

Please give them an opportunity to do their jobs. If you are one of those seeking to have them removed the provisions of our province still give you the right to choose differently at the next election.