I have been involved with local government for over 30 years and this is the first time I have written a letter to the editor.
My wife and I returned to Golden in 2004 after appointments around the province, basically because of the positive vibe coming from this community.
I attended last week’s all candidates forum and read with interest the Star’s staffs take on the proceedings.
The positive vibe seems to be lost on some of our candidates and along with the negativity expressed both by the questions submitted by the Chamber of Commerce and the answers of the candidates is distressing.
One of the candidates, Andrew Commons stated the OCP (the Official Community Plan) needs to be redone.
I believe he is in error as this plan is very current (2008 adoption I believe), has received many accolades and awards, and was created by a dedicated group of over 20 volunteers from 12 years of age to 80, representing all walks of life.
Also there were over 1,000 locals who participated in the process and gave their feedback to the creation of this plan.
The OCP is the vision for the community and the town vision statement of “a place for all to live” is key.
I would hope that all candidates and councilors read the OCP and use it to move this community forward.
The present council and the last two have been active in bringing to life some of the desirables from the OCP as well as many other positive attributes to our community.
Hard lobbying by our council and others in the community have brought us $154 million dollars in investment from BC Hydro to allow us to support growth to the community; to Kicking Horse Resort and other local initiatives such as Mountain Minerals expansion and the eventual use of tunnels to tame the Kicking Horse Canyon highway.
The constant lobbying and working with the Province and the Federal Government to improve the Trans Canada Highway has brought jobs, investment and needed safety upgrades to our route in and out of Golden. Most of the candidates seem to think council and staff have not been effective in stating Golden’s case and these candidates have instant fixes to make it better.
We may not need more of the same but the framework developed over the years to guide council; the bylaws and resolutions; and the power the senior governments have over us make the task of a council member very challenging.
Let’s not forget we live in a beautiful and most desirable place.
All of the candidates have something to offer but let’s make sure whoever is elected, builds on the past 55 years of success and doesn’t throw out the good work and the basis of this community that makes it so special and desirable.