By Laura Keil, Publisher/Editor
The clock is now ticking for Valemount to fill its remaining two council seats. Come Dec. 1st, if Valemount Council hasn’t appointed two people, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs will do so on our community’s behalf, likely appointing its own staffers.
Are we really going to let Victoria have two seats on our Council? Come on, Valemount!
Sadly, the Local Government Act has made the appointment process even tougher as it limits those who can be appointed to people living within the municipality. I know this is paradoxical – if we can’t come up with a Village resident, the Minister appoints someone from 700km away, but this is current law in B.C. I understand why there would be a limitation on the area from which you can select councillors, but limiting it to the strict village boundaries eliminates a lot of people who could have run for the general election anyway, people living in Area H of Fraser-Fort George for instance. The Province should alter this stipulation the next time they do a review of the Local Government Act to allow more people to apply for council appointments.
But regardless, an educated guess would put the eligible population at around 500 adults. Surely two people out of 500 can hold down an extremely part-time job (3-4 meetings a month) in the interests of our community. People tend to think of local government as a tough, thankless job. But it is also a job with prestige and one that affords travel and idea-swapping with people across B.C. It is a job where everyone is qualified by virtue of living where they do.
There’s an old saying that goes “The key to success is to start before you’re ready.”
Let’s rise to the challenge.