To the Editor:
First of all, I would like to address the problem of apparent lack of interest in the local budget process. Unfortunately, all government budget processes are boring, but if you don’t pay attention, things happen that really affect us all and are very difficult to reverse. Example: the recent boondoggle tax – HST.
We live in a low to no wage economy. There are very few opportunities for good paying jobs and a tax base. We all must pay the GST on goods and services. But because we do not have any medium to large businesses in this area; that would provide jobs, we must remain poor. So, the local budget processes fall on deaf ears. People have to see positive effects of the budget process. They have to feel it in their pockets, see it on the dinner table. In other works, experience success with their lives, that something tangible is happening for them and their families and friends. A budget is just a piece of paper, without meaning to most people. It does not, obviously, put bread on the table or gas in the car.
Mr. Despot’s letter of May 19 in the Review has pointed out that it is the electorate that must provide changes to government. Unfortunately, the voting public has apparently become pathetically apathetic. This is due in part to uninspiring administration and lacklustre leadership in Keremeos in recent years. Change must start somewhere. You have done your civic duty; now it is time for fresh thoughts. So, Mr. Despot, it is time. Please resign and take the unelected council with you. An interim business manager should be appointed, as soon as possible, to take care of necessary daily business, until an elected mayor and council is in place. The interim manager should appoint a nominating chair person. Between the two of them a nominating committee can be appointed. ( Please refer to Roberts Rules of Order) A slate of prospective candidates may consist of 12 people. There should be two to three candidates for mayor, and six to eight for council. This will make it legal and interesting.
Keremeos needs a transfusion of life from interested people, of all ages, willing to help the village grow and prosper. Everyone is qualified, you don’t have to know municipal law, right away. Learn as you go. (Look at the large numbers of new people entering federal politics.)
So, start by communicating with friends, family and neighbours, to find out what everyone would like to see improved. We live in a beautiful place, peopled by many hard working, intelligent folks. What we need now is leadership, courage, and truth. Speak out, stand up and be counted. Get away from the conspiracy of silence.
Remember, Mr. Despot has said, and I reiterate it: the future of Keremeos is in your hands. Grab the brass ring, people of Keremeos, and make your village prosper. Elect a new, responsible, communicative, and caring mayor and council. The time has come for change.
Flo Winfrey, Olalla