North Central Municipal Officers? Association Conference Held in Tumbler Ridge

September 1st to September 3rd saw the population of Tumbler Ridge grow by 45 to 50 people as the North Central Municipal Officers? Association held a three day conference program. The conference hosted around 35 attendees. Attendees came from all over North Central BC traveling from as far away as 100 Mile House, Queen Charlotte Islands and Fort Nelson. The North Central Association is the largest geographical association in the province.

This event is held twice a year in spring and fall, and this is the first time for the conference to be held in Tumbler Ridge. The District of Tumbler Ridge made a successful presentation in March of 2009 to the Association.

The conference began on Tuesday with a Supervisory Skills Workshop followed by social golfing at the Tumbler Ridge Golf and Country Club, and a welcoming reception held at the Twilight Lodge. Carl Everitt, chef and Camosum College instructor from Victoria specializing in beverage and food pairing was brought in for the evening. The beer offered for the pairings was brewed in BC. The cultural event was a huge success and there may be plans to hold another in the future for the public to enjoy.

All workshops held on Wednesday were held at the Community Centre and began with a warm welcome from Mayor Larry White. Seminars on Performance Management , differentiating between employees and independent Contractors filled the day along with program updates from various municipal associations such as the Local Government Management Association and the Municipal Insurance Authority of BC. An informative overview regarding Boards of Variance, their functions and their management was also provided, helping to shed some light on an often misunderstood aspect of municipal planning.

Attendees enjoyed an evening banquet at the TR Golf Course and joined Dr. Charles Helm and Daniel Helm for an outstanding Dinosaur Track Lantern Tour. At 34 participants, this was the largest group tour to date and everything went off without a hitch.

The Conference wrapped up on Thursday afternoon after presentations on Globalizing Northern British Columbia and Carbon Neutrality-Establishing Meaning for Municipalities. These seminars gave municipal workers some ideas on how they as a municipality can work in accordance with the Climate Action Charter. The province of BC wants all municipalities to be carbon neutral by 2012.

A seminar was also held titled ?It?s All About Me? How to Engage the ?Y? Generation? With three main generations; namely the X Generation, Y Generation and Baby Boomers all working together in our current work force, employers received information on how to attract and retain new workers and how to improve interpersonal skills and market themselves as employers.

A lunch presentation was given by Dr. Charles Helm that reflected the topic of his latest book, Exploring Tumbler Ridge, and was enjoyed by all.

The weather during the three day event was beautiful letting visitors make the most of walking and exploring the community.

Ray Proulx, Community Development Officer for the District of Tumbler Ridge credits the work of CAO Kim Isaak, Lindsey Vandale, Aleen Torraville, Peggy Holden, Teresa Vandale, Verna Piercey, Angie Collison, Marjorie Wahlen, Clark Hazlehurst, Elaine Guske, Barb Goldade, Sandra Cutler, Doreen Younge, and Community Centre maintenance staff that worked hard to make this a very successful event. He hopes that this conference was a working example of things to come and was happy that Tumbler Ridge had a chance to showcase our town and facilities for hosting these sorts of events. With the success of this conference, we may be seen as a premier location for many future seminars, conferences? and events.

Focus is now on the upcoming Coal Forum being held in Tumbler Ridge October 8 2009.

*Being carbon neutral, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset. Definition from wikipedia.org