Letter to the Editor

When assessing new governments of elected officials, it is traditional to review their performance after the first one hundred days, the so-called ?honeymoon period?. Well, our new Mayor and Council have now passed that mark, and some observations may therefore be in order.

First, it is evident that we have in Larry White an affable Mayor who has done his utmost to immerse himself in the community and to open dialogue and engage as many groups as possible in a non-threatening manner. There is hardly a community meeting of any kind where one does not see him. His standard phrase seems to be, ?We?d like to get this project moving? – representing a healthy, can-do attitude. And given that he is officially ?retired?, his attentions are free to be devoted to the betterment of the community. (Retirement for the Whites is not the same as for most mortals – their involvement in volunteer community activities is exceptional).

Second is the concept of team-building, and it becomes apparent that in our elected officials we have a team that enjoys healthy and spirited debate, but without divisive and acrimonious behaviour. The evidence so far is of a disciplined, dedicated group that is truly working for the improvement of Tumbler Ridge without worrying about personal agendas.

Third is the appreciation that can be extended to those not fortunate to be re-elected. The fact that these worthy individuals have continued to involve themselves in numerous volunteer capacities, and even take on more responsibilities, is laudable, but not surprising given their track records.

Fourth is that some of the achievements of the previous local government have been recognized and continued. The most obvious examples are the Seniors? Needs Task Force and the Museum Development Committee, but there are many others. It is always healthy to see a good amount of new ideas and innovation mixing with acknowledgement of the previous positive initiatives.

Finally, there is the benefit of ?participatory democracy?. The call has gone out that there is lots of work to be done, and for interested residents to assist in the process by serving on sub-committees. Not only does that enable citizens to be more involved, but it also reduces the credibility of those prone to undue criticism. If you didn?t step up, there is little room for whining.

This all seems to be translating into a positive image for our community in difficult economic times. All of us will likely at some time be displeased with some decisions taken, but that is as it probably should be. Congratulations to our Mayor and Council for a fine start to their three years in office; hopefully this trend will continue throughout their term.


Charles Helm