Tuesday, September 14, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 37 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“Most of my best friends are over 70 years old.”
- Wendy Zack  
- on museum memories   
   

 

Looking Back - John KinnearThis week the Pass Herald is without a reporter. Nathen has taken a week of holidays leaving me with the unenviable task of being the reporter. Long ago I promised myself that I would learn every part of this business so that I would never be stuck if someone left. In my wisdom I failed to remember that I don’t actually like being a reporter. I’ve done the job a few times and can honestly tell you it’s not my calling. Yes, I went to university and obtained an English degree, not so that I could do this job, but so that I could read books all the time, analyze and then write about them. Instead I’m running around town with my pencil in my proverbial hat covering the news of the Crowsnest Pass.
With that in mind, I’ll don my Lois Lane gear and start with a column. This part of the job I like because I’m going to give you my opinion in writing and remember all aspects of this column is indeed my opinion.
First let me talk about the coming election. The Pass Herald has devoted a page of the paper to promote those people willing to step forward on the election platform. We will cover all aspects of this election because I, like many other people, think this is the most important election this community has ever or may ever, have.
I have been incredibly critical of this council. Let me clarify for you. I have been very vocal about four members of this council who have held, in my opinion, this community hostage to their demands. It makes me sick to see all the votes 4 to 3. However, what I am most interested in regarding this election are the final results. Do the majority of people feel as I do, or do they follow the path of the four horsemen? Am I out in left field regarding the actions of these four people?
I feel I must rant for a moment regarding the advertising for the local election. I called the Municipal CAO to ask if the Pass Herald was to receive election advertising. Guess what, to my shock we are not. Believe it or not I really am shocked. I thought in their wisdom, council would advertise in all media outlets. This is an election, not an ad for weeds, public hearings, garbage disposal or the skating schedule, but an election. Our election! What community doesn’t advertise for an election? Apparently only ours, as the Livingstone Range School Division based in Claresholm is utilizing both papers for their School Trustee election. I told Mr. Lundy I was pretty disgusted that the municipality would not ensure that every member of this community is being informed regarding advance polls, the polling station venues and voting times. Surprised – yes, disgusted absolutely! Thus we have procured the notice of nomination and will provide all future election ads through sponsorship within the business community.
In response to those asking if I am I running for a seat on council, I would like to announce to every person who reads the Pass Herald that I will not be running in the next election. Here are my reasons. This is the scenario. I am the publisher of the Pass Herald, I made a very personal but vocal stand regarding the Crowsnest Centre, and low and behold I no longer have municipal advertising. Coincidence or not? You tell me. How can any business person in this community run for council when you look at what happened to the Pass Herald? This family owned business employs 8 full and part time people. I can’t jeopardize their jobs based on my beliefs. Believe me, losing our municipal advertising was a bitter life lesson to learn.
 
The other day a young business person told me he was thinking of running for council. I looked him straight in the face and replied, “Are you kidding me?” Sad, but true. This municipality is a mess financially, businesses are barely surviving, the main streets are practically empty and I don’t believe anyone can afford to lose any business because of their political decisions. Ironically though, the part that upsets me is that I truly believe it’s business people who need to run in order to help heal this community. Small business owners and managers know how to stretch the dollar, how to go without a paycheque to pay staff and how to survive in what many feel is a dying economy. We don’t rely on our pensions, our government salaries or our guaranteed wages. We scratch and claw to make every dollar count.
I’m 38 years old, I have three young children in both hockey and swimming and I am the coach of the latter. I help run our family business and I have a husband who works long hours out of town. Do I think I would be a good councillor? Yes. Do I believe I have the time to do the job to the best of my ability? No. Life is just too busy for me right now.
What do I think this community needs from the next council? I believe the perfect council would have a young person, a retired person, a woman, a man and a business person. That leaves three extra seats comprised of any of the above. I think this council has to begin building trust back with the people, with our provincial and federal government, the Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures. Business people and “Joe” citizens should not be scared of the financial repercussions of having an opinion. Do I think any of the present councillors should be back on council? Perhaps, but only one. Why you ask? We’re losing our CAO, who’s retiring in the New Year and we need some experience from a member of this council to help the new members understand why certain decisions were made. The fine line the voters must remember, however, is that one bad apple can spoil the entire cart, so we must be careful whom that one person is.
I’m interested to see the results of this election because I want to see if my impression of this council and the job they have done in the past three years is shared by the majority of the voters. I hope that the person who is elected as mayor represents our community with dignity and class and that those running for council don’t plan to run as the defacto mayor.
Where does the community stand at this moment in time? Financially the town is in a mess. This council has eaten up reserves through court battles, legal fees, costly infrastructure programs, severance packages and closures. I feel the trust of the people has been broken. People are scared to even voice a complaint. The provincial and federal government, I believe, think our community is a joke. We can’t even have a council meeting to accept free money for a bridge without infighting.
I love this community. I am fourth generation Crowsnest Pass and proud of it. I have moved away from the community, lived in the city and chose to come back here and raise my children. I hope with all my heart that we gain a new council who feels as I do. A council that will empower the people to work together, not be afraid to voice opinions, bringing the majesty back to our beautiful community. “Mountain Freedom” is our motto, and hopefully with a new council we can once again believe in those words.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 37 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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