Politics need not be thankless

Outgoing council deserves thanks for working hard to pull community through difficult term.

I’ve heard municipal politics is a thankless job, but I know this isn’t the case.

For example, last Wednesday, I witnessed Sicamous’ outgoing mayor and council thank themselves (as well as staff and the community).

This was during the last regular meeting of council’s three-year term, an occasion attended by less than 10 people (myself included).

Council candidates Jeff Mallmes and Gord Bushell, who were also in attendance, took advantage of question period to thank Mayor Darrell Trouton and Coun. Suzanne Carpenter, who were not seeking re-election, as well as the rest of council for service to the community.

A classy gesture for sure.

I expect Trouton and council have received plenty of thanks over the past three years, as well as plenty criticism and, likely, some not-so-kind words. As they say, you can’t please everyone. And a new team of councillors was elected, so clearly Sicamous is wanting and ready for change.

During a pre-emptive farewell speech, Coun. Fred Busch suggested the water treatment plant will be the outgoing council’s crowning achievement. I suggest it should also be remembered for actions taken during the turmoil of the 2012 flooding, including the debris flow at 2 Mile and the subsequent flooding during high water.

The first year is typically a learning period for a new council. In its first seven months, however, Sicamous’ outgoing mayor and councillors suddenly found themselves submerged in a state of emergency. This meant their first year was spent learning (or relearning) the ropes of local government, as well as how to navigate upper-level government agencies in appealing for aid. And then there was the tension that followed, much of it stemming from the ongoing need for safe, clean drinking water.

Coun. Terry Rysz has stated he’ll be taking a hands-on approach as mayor after he’s sworn in on Dec. 1. That seemed to be the way of his predecessor, Trouton, who impressed with his willingness to get his hands dirty if need be. Literally.

On June 23, as the debris flow was happening, our photographer James Murray and I were stuck at a roadblock on 97A, waiting to see if we could get someone to take us through so we could do our job. While waiting, I overheard Trouton was at the scene, assisting with the evacuation effort. That got me wondering how many mayors would do that, as opposed to being glued to a phone away from the danger, attempting to co-ordinate others to get the work done?

All in all, the outgoing council was dealt a lousy hand with the flood and the community appears to have pulled through. And for that they deserve some thanks.

Of course, there’s lots more work to be done, and I wish the new council all the best in moving the community forward. No doubt they too will face criticism. But don’t be afraid to give thanks where it’s due. Municipal politics may not be a thankless, but it’s far from a stroll in the park.

 

Just Posted

Market welcomes talking giraffe

Artists’ animated collaborative work comes to life at Westgate Public Market

Stolen vehicle evades attempt to spike tires near Sicamous

RCMP are looking for a black late 1990s Ford pickup with a suspension lift and no licence plates

CP vote deadline rescheduled for Friday

The deadline for the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and International Brotherhood of… Continue reading

Shuswap Lake just keeps rising

Regional district officials encourage those with vulnerable properties to prepare early.

Tourism Kelowna adopts sustainability initiative

Responsible to environment key to long-term tourism growth

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Penticton homeless campers devastated by park cleanup

Two women, in their 50s and 60s, said they felt like giving up after their only home was cleared out

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

Size, cost set for proposed Vernon cultural facility

Size of new home for museum and art gallery is about 58,000 square feet; cost is $40 million

SilverStar reaches new heights with gondola

Vernon ski resort installing new feature, with opening date set for July 7

Salmon Arm falls to Vernon in womens masters division Soccer

A close game ends 3-2 in favor of Vernon

Most Read