Congratulations to our new mayor Walter Jakeway and councillors Andy Adams, Ron Kerr, Ryan Mennie, Claire Moglove, Larry Samson and Mary Storry on their inauguration Tuesday night.
The ceremony officially kicked off our local government’s term of office and allows them to roll up their sleeves and get to work. And what a lot of work they will have.
Mayor Jakeway is correct in pointing out that the next few years will be difficult ones for Campbell River. It will certainly be trying times for our city council as they wrestle with the drop in corporate taxes brought about by the loss of the Elk Falls pulp mill. In order to get some idea of what’s in store, the new mayor won’t have far to turn for advice. His council is made up predominantly of returning councillors who are more than familiar with what lies ahead.
It will take courage to make the decisions that will be needed. This new council will be faced with challenges that were just getting underway during the previous council’s tenure. Council will be faced with trying to maintain the current level of service never mind expanding it.
There’s no easy solution and there’s no silver bullet that will solve all the problems. Council will need to take a multi-faceted approach to solving problems. Flexibility will be required as well some imagination.
Councillors need to realize that they won’t please everybody. At times, it may seem like they can’t please anybody but they must persevere. It’s the job they asked for and it’s the task we’ve given them. Residents need to keep in mind the personal sacrifice our elected representatives have undertaken and should afford them the highest level of respect and appreciation.
Of course, they should be held accountable but we can’t allow our political debate to sink into acrimony and spite.
It’s time to pull together not splinter apart.