To the Editor:
The following relates to the village hall, the present council and staff, their relationship to the residents of the Village of Keremeos and the forthcoming election on November 15-2014:
In nature most of the impurities cling to the lower ground. The hilltops are bare of undergrowth; the tall trees stretch above the creepers. We human beings obey another law, the higher we climb, the more temptations we meet. Few who reach the summit can be acquitted of vanity or conceit, whatever other vices they are strong enough to resist. I happen to make a distinction between the two. Vanity is an infection suffered by those who care too much what other people think of them. Conceit on the other hand is self-satisfaction, the mark of people sufficiently sure of themselves to hold the opinion of others as of little consequence, except insofar as it favors or impedes their progress. Both vanity and conceit are defects, but neither need be destructive of personal charm or of zeal to serve the community. The infections are seldom fatal, and they do not necessarily strangle virtues. They happen to be more exasperating in some than in others.
Some people make their way through life by patience and a long uncomplaining climb. Others, in politics as in business thrive on flamboyance. They ensure that their names are often in the newspapers and that they are the subject of continued discussion, even if it be critical in the widest circles that can be reached, it is more no doubt, a matter of temperament than of design for some are in a hurry all their lives, while others are content to advance slowly and cautiously towards a chosen goal, securing each position before they move to the next.
We are all familiar with the Elvena Slump and Penticton City Council affair. I draw your attention to an article by Integrity B.C. on Castanet September 12- 2014, where Elvena Slump pointed out another growing problem at City halls in B.C, “secrecy” and it’s a trait that breeds distrust among citizens. It concerns in camera council meetings and the reasons for those closed door meetings. Councils should operate from one simple principle. If you don’t have anything to hide, don’t hide it (end of reference).
The residents in Keremeos must be addressed by village staff and council members with utmost courtesy and respect. When occasional difficulties arise ruffled feathers should be smoothed with a mixture of common sense and transparent honesty. They must say exactly what they think, whether or not their views are likely to coincide with others, honesty and truthfulness must be foremost. We must recognize that consistency does not mean hostility, but rather a willingness to adapt to new circumstances.
The staff at village hall are expected to take direction from the elected council. In Keremeos, sad to say it’s the other way around. The new council must ensure that the directional flow will be reversed.
The present council has failed miserably to set out a vision for the future of our community, instead they have persistently indulged in short term gains full of compromises and contradictions.
I do have a passionate belief in democracy and in the future of our village. Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people, and a simple remedy for future councils would be to put the peoples interests ahead of their own.
To all the residents, of voting age in Keremeos I strongly urge you to exercise your democratic rights on November 15, and by doing so reverse the dismal record of past elections at the ballot box.