Congratulations to all those who stood for public office in Saturday’s election. Your willingness to serve your community deserves applause.
Thank-you also to those whose service is coming to a close because of a decision to step down or because of a loss at the ballot box. Serving your community is never a loss and we are all the better for you having made your contribution.
For those who were successful in attaining a seat on city council, regional district board and school board, roll up your sleeves it’s time to get to work.
It’s been said many times and it bears repeating, but the Campbell River area is undergoing a period of significant change and significant challenge. As this region continues its transition from dependency on one large employer and tax revenue generator –the now-closed Elk Falls pulp and paper mill – we will need more ideas, greater creativity and no small measure of courage. The rewards for our community can potentially be great but the risks for politicians can be even greater. We have an electorate that has a thin skin when it comes to tolerating wastefulness and unnecessary spending, that message can not be any clearer after the election campaign we just went through. We are having to make do with less but it does not mean that an adequate level of services is not possible. It just means that decisions will need to be transparent, well thought out and innovative.
This is not the time to be taking the easy road, i.e., holding your hand out to taxpayers for more – but neither is it a time for cutting for the sake of cutting. We need intelligent management of the resources we have on hand. We also need to restore the confidence in our City Hall that has been eroded by criticism – however well intended – we have to restore trust in our municipal government and we have to restore pride in our community.
It’s a big job, now get to it.