Resident feedback is important says mayor of Barriere

As the Mayor Sees it: with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys

Last week council had both a Committee of the Whole meeting and a regular council meeting.

I want to say thanks to those residents that attended these meetings. It is an important part of the process to get resident feedback, and the best way to get information and form an opinion is to attend the meetings where the information is presented and when decisions are made.

I know most council and committee meetings are boring. Unless you are there for a personal reason the content can be less than stimulating.

Attending is recommended to follow any of the current decisions made around projects, budget plans and District procedures and policies. The minutes of meetings simply report on the highlights and do not show each individual’s passion for a given issue or a project.

On the topic of reporting on the activities of council our local newspaper sends a representative to our council and committee meetings, and they report on what happens. It is rare that a meeting is missed. What is then printed in the paper is a report on the facts of what happened at the meeting. Not an opinion of what should have been done, could have been said, or things of that sort.

On the other hand, our local radio station has not sent, on any sort of regular basis, a representative to council meetings.

However, the station does choose to run a regular segment that includes opinions and has what is purported to be accurate information on the activities to do with District council. I personally find this to be odd. If a radio station airs a segment that includes talking about local public affairs, would you not think that the content should contain opinions based on actual facts? Can a person speak on local issues and form an opinion without gathering all the facts?

There is no quicker way to ruin where you live than to be constantly offering up problems, and looking to dig up dirt on what is being done rather than helping to work towards solutions.

Council works hard to bring well researched plans to the table and has always openly invited anyone interested, a place at that table to help bring success to proposed projects.

I encourage residents to give their considered opinion on issues. I believe that the rest of council agrees with me on this. We all want to know what residents think, and perhaps more importantly what they know.

Small towns like ours tend to look for people that will work with us to help improve where we live. We recognize that we can ill afford to pay for needed advice all the time. We encourage and actively look for individuals that can bring solutions and positive forward thinking ideas to the table.

We don’t have many problems and those that we do have can be solved with a little hard work, positive solutions and innovative thinking. Anyone that wants to be part of the solution is welcome to help out.

At the last Committee of the Whole meeting there was a presentation around the proposed Bio Burner. Mr. David Dubois gave a report and presentation around the details of emission controls and the applicable regulations around these types of facilities. The size and configuration of various makes and models of available burners was also presented. Even the types of fuels, the cost of each type, and where they can be obtained locally was discussed. Questions around the height of the exhaust pipe were answered and a detailed drawing of the site plans including fuel storage was available.

It may not look like it but Spring is coming eventually. In the coming weeks we have a number of events happening all around our community. Everything from a new early season sanctioned rough stock rodeo, to the return of the very successful health and wellness fair. Come on out and enjoy the fun.

Many congratulations go out to Jill Hayward on being the recipient of a B.C. Community Achievement Award! The presentation will be at Government House in Victoria on April 29.  These awards honour people who have made a significant contribution to their community.

People like Jill.