Past councilor has a few words for the mayor

Every one should be allowed their say, be it loud and abrasive or quiet and meek.

Dear Mr. Mayor:

I wasn’t sure what prompted your rant in the Aug. 1, 2013, newspaper, but as a member of that first (imagery) council, I don’t recall it being at all like you inferred.  Disbandment, dissolving…hmph!

We took on our responsibilities to the full extent of the Municipality Act.   I recall extensive council training in which we were taught the roles and the respect for all levels of the government.  I recall learning to identify communication pitfalls with all people, especially those in our community.  I recall our principal mandate was to keep our constituents informed and to listen and lead them through their concerns.

Our official instructions advised us that local government is bound by the rules and laws and administrative procedures of the Municipality Act; the provincial government is responsible for the local government, and that the local government cannot regulate the use of provincial or federal lands (or Indian Reserves).

The mayor was given his specific duties in which he is to recognize that he is a member of council and votes with council (that is one vote out of seven votes).  He is responsible (the chair) to run council meetings in an orderly fashion via the Roberts Rules of Order.   You yourself, recognize the role of the mayor does not allow a “going to get things done” one-man-show.

As first council to the new municipality of Barriere, our first giant hurdle was the expense and uncertainty of the proclaimed closure of the dump, resulting in unexpected increases in taxes to our constituents.

The second greatest hurdle involved setting a tax rate with no previous guidelines to follow; we did so almost blindfolded.

This is not to mention the everyday housekeeping of setting up an office with knowledgeable staff and developing some operating by-laws.

We studied how-to-overcome and identify communication difficulties; snap judgments, prejudices, sloppy observations, predispositions and failure to fully recognize that all people have their own concerns, values, hopes, aspirations, problems and dreams even the ‘early-stage-of-learning’ (never would we have announced as Neanderthals).

Every one should be allowed their say, be it loud and abrasive or quiet and meek.

During my seat on council, the mayor encouraged us (the councilors) to contribute in the communication with our constituents by being involved in various committees and organizations as well as assisting him in alternately reporting to the people through a column in the Star/Journal.  I suggest you follow his direction and allow the community to hear from not only yourself, but from the councilors as well, as to the direction they see Barriere going in.  Sounds like you’ve ran out of “positive” information.

As I see it.


Kathy Cooper

Barriere, B.C.