Dear citizens, friends, townies, out-of-townies, newbies, oldbies, and devoted community members alike.
For those of you unfamiliar with me, I currently serve as a councilor with the Town of Golden, am the owner of Bacchus Books and Cafe, and have been a highly invested and involved community member in our area for the better part of the past 40 years. I am a champion of process, a firm believer in creative, flexible, well defined leadership, and an active and persuasive voice for our larger community.
During my term on council I have had ample opportunity to engage, assess, contemplate, evaluate, and act. I have grown, perhaps, a deeper understanding of the intricacies of local level politics and have formed a sound opinion around what serves as functional governance and what does not. It is with this knowledge and experience in mind that, after much discussion and thought, I have come to the decision that there is tremendous merit in running for a seat on town council and a seat as Regional Director in Area A within the CSRD. The immediate concern, given the oft times fractional relationships between our local governments in the recent past, is that this is a conflict of interest. I believe that nothing could or should be further from the truth if, and when, true community leadership is employed. On the surface, this may appear contradictory but with a little digging into the responsibility of the roles, there is in fact, only a conflict of perception and not one of position. It is my experience that the conflict of perception is a result of an incomplete understanding and/or implementation of our local government systems. The notion of conflict only exists when we as political representatives believe that the artificial divide of the municipal boundary defines a “them” and an “us”. From a broader inclusive based perspective, one can look upon Golden and Area A as really and truly defining our local community and we can then look upon it more accurately through a lens of “We”. From this perspective, all issues, political situations, and matters of governance can be engaged with from a larger systems view. Issues specific to the Municipality can be and are dealt with by Mayor and Council. Areas specific to Area A can be and are dealt with by the Regional Director and the CSRD board. Matters that have overlap or that involve our community as a whole, and there are many, can and should be worked on collaboratively and without the perception of conflict. There is tremendous opportunity to develop a larger regional voice and capitalize on the assets, both tangible and otherwise, that “We” as a community share. Clear, well defined and skilled leadership in our elected official positions can bring this about. Realizing that this is a very abbreviated positional explanation of both philosophy and political merit in encouraging overlap of positions, I am happy to engage any who are interested in more fully understanding the rational of my systemic assessment.
I will now move from the political explanation portion on to the campaign portion of this piece. I will begin with the role of town councilor and why you should once again elect me serve in a governance role for our municipality.
To have an effective and productive council, which I am proud to say we have worked hard to develop, you need to have more than just good people. Functional governance does not simply appear as a result of good ideas. In order for a local government to effectively influence and implement policy and put into action the hopes, thoughts, needs and vision of the larger community, it needs certain intangible parts. I bring to the table a fairly specific, dynamic, and well developed skill set that is not often found in municipal councils. Through education, experience, and a good deal of work I have cultivated the ability to analyze and understand complex systems and am able to articulate practical and understandable action oriented policy. I have been able to provide both the levity and the intellectual rigor that is instrumental in transforming a good group of people into a council that stands out and above, not only in rural BC, but throughout the province. I continue to provide high level support in both the theoretical and practical realms to Mayor Benty and my style of leadership and group engagement provides a complimentary counterbalance with her leadership style. My understanding of human systems and how to proactively shift and change complex situations while navigating multiple layers of interest is a great asset to our community. Regardless of what your political leanings and whom you believe would advance your vision as a councilor, having my non-partisan commitment, skills, and creative abilities around the table will aid in continuing to keep our new council functioning with tenacity and integrity.
The position of regional director will be extremely well served by the skill set I bring. I believe that it is far past time to begin a transformation of the regional governance structure and, with that in mind, I intend to begin the creation and implementation of a regional advisory committee. The formalization of a standing committee will serve to broaden the rural voice and will provide me, as regional director, advice and direction on matters of community governance. I believe that one of the historical deficits of the director position has been the reticence to share the responsibility and broaden the scope and influence of the position. Engaging alternates, establishing an advisory committee, and establishing a regular and accessible communications system should help reinvigorate community involvement and influence. Further, I believe that proactive governance needs to be readily responsive and, with that in mind, I will immediately establish a physical office presence with set available hours. Aside from these initial obvious structural changes, I will bring to the position a highly developed ability to navigate complex systems, both lived grass roots experience and cultivated intellectual understanding of rural living and rural needs.
I will provide a strong, creative, action oriented, voice at the CSRD table and will endeavor to raise the bar of what is expected from, and accepted of, an elected official. Candidates love to say that they offer change, or a fresh voice, or a new direction. What is missing is the ability and understanding to implement. What I offer is the requisite skills and abilities to articulate community needs into community visions, and to move community visions into tangible, result based actions. When it comes time to choose an electoral representative for Area A, the question that needs to be asked is who is in possession of the necessary complex skill set to best advocate and achieve in diverse settings on diverse topics for our rural community. I believe that I am that representative.
In conclusion, I am most appreciative of the support and constructive community minded dialogue I continue to engage in and I very much welcome the ongoing challenge and responsibility of listening, learning, working and churning through the complex world of local politics. I believe that in expanding our notion from what is to what can be, from status quo to status mo’, mo’, mo’, from “them and us” to a collective “We”, that this amazing community can and will shift, grow and change. responsive, responsible and sustainable ways . I offer up my creative energies, hard earned skill set, intensity and integrity along with a fierce passion for this place.
On November 19th, and the term that follows, please do take me up on the offer.
*If you have any questions or would like further explanation on my veiws on governance, please do contact me at: Caleb.Moss@golden.ca or 250-344-5600 or drop into Bacchus Books and Cafe anytime.