The Mayor?s Musings

This past while has not been a good time for some of our residents. There have been sad stories of loved ones and friends hospitalized and others who have been lost to us. It was satisfying to see how members of the community came together to support those in need.

On a more pleasant note I would like to send a bouquet to a Good Samaritan. Three days before Christmas a man near Chetwynd had no heat and could not get a repairman from Chetwynd to help. He phoned a friend in Tumbler Ridge (TR) who phoned a friend who then phoned another friend, and in no time he had heat – a nice feel good story.

In November of 2002 the Northern Medical Programs Trust was established.

The goal is to establish an endowment of $6 Million and the permanent fund would generate interest which would be used to assist medical students who are interested in practicing in rural communities and communities of the North. The contribution for Tumbler Ridge was set at $65,000 and we have surpassed the donations and currently stand at about $85,000. That?s 130% of our goal.

I had a meeting with BCAS (BC Ambulance Service) and received assurances that the second vehicle will remain with us and in addition it will be manned.

However, BCAS would like us to come up with a better arrangement for housing the second ambulance. It?s currently housed at the industrial park and BCAS doesn?t think that it is secure enough.

Also, they feel it should be kept closer to the medical centre. Council is looking into possibilities that will address BCAS?s concerns.

That?s good news but what isn?t good news is that our third nurse who was due to arrive in April is not coming.

We are working on a number of possible solutions and I do want to acknowledge the medical staff and Northern Health who are working very hard to solve the nursing shortage. This is a crucial issue if we expect the care to remain at its current level.

I want to remind residents of our survey that was mailed out and request that it be returned prior to the deadline of 4 Feb. I look forward to reading your comments.

The number of complaints about the snowmobiles is rising. The individual playing on Wolverine Ave at 3:00 am is not being respectful of the residents, nor are the two who were on the ski trails. The bylaw regarding off road vehicles is available at Town Hall. We have hired a veteran bylaw officer experienced in dealing with these off road issues.

I?d like to assure the residents that I?m not the worst ice carver in the Peace as witnessed at Mayors? challenge in Fort St. John. My rendition of a Dinosaur head received some praise from the judges because it was carved with ?primitive? tools, a machete and a chainsaw, but still only placed fourth out of five.

The work at the community centre continues on budget and in spite of a short delay receiving some material, the completion date is still scheduled for April. Council approved an additional project to increase the heating capacity of the downstairs area. Minor renovations to the Youth Centre should start soon and be completed by the end of February.

For those who were unable to attend the TRSS Drama Club?s ?Dorothy?s Road Trip? I wish to inform you that you missed a superb production. It was obvious that many hours of work went into it. Congratulations to TRSS Drama Club.

Council amended the meeting procedural bylaw which now permits any question to be asked during the question period at Council; however, if there are questions or issues that you would like me to address in this column please let me know.

Finally, I want to enlighten you as to how eager your Council is. I like Councillors to be early for a meeting, so one Councillor arrived 24 hours in advance. It wasn?t until the cleaners started up the vacuum that my colleague decided that maybe being that early had no advantage.

Respectfully

Larry White

Mayor