Mayor?s Musings for March 2009

Budget season is upon us and Council has been burning the midnight oil to try to balance the needs of the community with the available funds. A catch-up is needed and the increase necessary is approximately $75.00 per household. Even with these increases, we will still have the lowest taxes on average in the Peace Region with a cost to the homeowner of less than $2.00 a day for all the services provided. Budget packages are available for pick up at town hall or can be viewed on the town web site, www.tumblerridge.ca.

The regional tax rate is being held constant, so you will not see an increase on that line item on your tax bill.

We are planning an open house, or as some would say, a town hall meeting on Monday 27th of April, 7pm in the community center. Among other items, we will present the strategic plan which reflects the input Council has received from our residents. We invite you to participate.

Congratulations to Darryl Krakowka who is the President of the Chamber of Commerce for this year.

Due to some problems getting material, the completion of the renovations in the youth centre/seniors corner is expected to be mid April.

I addressed a grade 10 class at Tumbler Ridge Secondary School (TRSS) about local government and its role in the community. The discussion was interesting and wide-ranging. When ATVs and snowmobiles came up I asked the class if they thought that I could ban ATVs from town on my own. Everyone said yes. This led me into an explanation on the powers of a mayor. I think this is the TV image and it is probably where they got the impression. In the USA they have what is called a strong-mayoral system where the mayor has wide-sweeping powers and can do just that. In Canada it is called a weak-mayoral system where the mayor is another member of council and cannot make decisions without the approval of Council. His/her role is that of leadership, not unilateral decision-making. I thank the class for an interesting afternoon.

As you are aware the Olympic torch will be arriving in town next January 31st. The Spirit Committee is planning ten days of activities prior to its arrival. If your group or organization has not yet been contacted for input, give Cheryl a call at the community centre, 242-4246.

I met several weeks ago with the team of dentists and contractors who want to put a dental clinic in the medical center where the physiotherapy room currently exists. Draft design and layout drawings were discussed and a positive attitude was shown by the proponents. Nothing is standing in their way. The start and completion dates have not been established.

I want to assure everyone that the stories that I relate in this column are absolutely true, about real Tumbler Ridge happenings. (Some questioned the cat story.) So, here?s another true story. Have you ever wanted to stuff more clothing than will actually fit into a suitcase? One industrious Tumbler Ridge resident came up with a solution. Place all the clothing in a plastic bag and use a vacuum pump to reduce its volume. But the traveler was horrified to see a mass of clothes and underwear extruding from a ripped and torn bag coming down the conveyor belt at the point of destination. The packing idea seemed like a good one until one realizes how the luggage travels in an airplane. At thirty thousand feet there?s little pressure to keep the bag intact.

Yours Respectfully

Mayor Larry White