Attending conferences can help improve local government says Mayor of Barriere

The idea of borrowing good ideas and custom tailoring them to your own needs makes sense, says Mayor Humphreys

Some of you may have heard on Radio NL Mr. Harrison’s comments on what various Kamloops councillors said about their trip to the latest Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference. In short, it was pointed out that most of the information presented could have been gathered by paying more attention to what is happening in and around Kamloops.

I suppose that this is true in some respects. The actual presentations and tours did showcase some projects that are done the same way in our area. Is this a useless exercise? Not in my opinion, but perhaps Saskatoon’s message runs more to the subtle side of things. The province of Saskatchewan is flourishing now but that has not always been the case. The fact that Saskatoon is rebuilding, refurbishing and revitalizing their city is indeed something to be seen first hand.

During the Urban Reserve tour the First Nations presenters pointed out that they used the examples brought from the collaborative work done between the City of Kamloops and the Tk’emlups First Nations to write the service agreements for their developments. This idea of borrowing good ideas and custom tailoring them to your own needs does indeed make sense.

Saskatoon’s mayor and council are proud of their city. The improvements and planning they have done show good forethought and imagination. The FCM conference was their time to showcase this great work to their peers in municipal government from all across Canada and they did a fine job.

The worth of any of these conferences is what one brings back and makes use of to improve the process of your own local government. Social networking is the current hot topic and these conferences are fertile ground for that. It is true that some folks just go for the receptions, take advantage of the no-host bar and spend the next day sleeping in the corner. To them I say shame on you for wasting a spot that could be used by another more willing to learn and grow from the experience.

On the local government scene at the June 5, regular council meeting a councillor pointed out to me that I had written in my last article that “Council passed a motion to direct staff to proceed with the required applications to have the land titles transferred to Barriere”.  I had not mentioned the fact that these applications were only to be done once the District had obtained a change in use agreement for the tenure we hold over the land to be used for the outflow of the waste water treatment plant.

I admit perhaps I included only that which identified the intent of the motion pertinent to the topic in the article which was simply to get title to the lands we have built infrastructure on.

I also admit I am confused as to why there was ever a need to have these applications go in a certain order. Is it that staff might get confused? I seriously doubt that. Could it be that other orders of government limit us to how many applications we can make at a given time? While I seriously doubt this as well I admit that I do not know for sure. I will ask those that know.

Perhaps the reason runs more to a distrust of the people at the table for these negotiations? I genuinely hope this is not the case. All those involved in the process are intelligent, educated, clear thinking people capable of seeing each application as a separate issue with its own merits. Trust in the honesty of those involved is paramount to progress. Anyone that cannot openly give that trust when it is due has no place at the table.

So there you have it. I did not mention the second part of the motion last week. I hope this clears things up on that account.

Thanks to Councillor Kershaw for standing in for me at the Fun Run. From all accounts it was well attended. Gather up a donation to the food bank and come out to the Barriere Elementary School Saturday, June 16, for the showing of the Mantracker episodes shot here in Barriere. Cudos to Connie Falk and all those involved.

The waterways are high and flowing quickly. Please be cautious while you are out enjoying the beauty of this place we call home.