Chuckwagon Restaurant site acquired for parkland

Originally called the Sportsman, the Chuckwagon Restaurant was built in 1969 by Lena and Eric Gunderson

Chuckwagon Restaurant site acquired for parkland

Clearwater town council has decided to purchase the site of the former Chuckwagon Restaurant for parkland.

Cost of the purchase was $35,000.

The decision had been made during an earlier in camera meeting and was made public during a regular council meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The money came from funds received from developers who subdivided other pieces of land, said Mayor John Harwood.

When a property is subdivided, the municipality usually has the choice of taking either a percentage of the land for park, or money in lieu of parkland.

Originally called the Sportsman, the Chuckwagon Restaurant was built in 1969 by Lena and Eric Gunderson.

The restaurant burned down in 2004, taking the life of volunteer firefighter Chad Schapansky.

No more four year terms

British Columbia should go back to having three-year terms for municipal council members, according to Clearwater councillor Shelley Sim.

During the Feb. 7 town council meeting she gave notice of motion that she intends to bring forward the matter during the Feb. 21 council meeting.

In 2014 the provincial government changed the terms of municipal council members, regional district directors  and school board trustees from three years to four, she said.

Since then there has been a rash of resignations of rural community representatives, perhaps most notably in McBride, where three councillors resigned last November, leaving only the mayor and one council member temporarily without a quorum to run the village.

“People are saying ‘enough’ when they reach mid-term. They’re not sure they can continue for the full four years,” Sim said.

Members of the provincial legislature still sit for only three years, she pointed out.

CBC interviewed some of those who have stepped down and found that the biggest reason was the time commitment that is a result of the downloading of responsibilities by the provincial government.

One argument for the four-year term was that it would improve continuity on councils. That argument isn’t valid if people leave before their term is finished, she said.

Councillor Dennis Greffard said the four-year term has worked well for him. It took him the first year just to get a bearing on what was going on, he said.

Merlin Blackwell agreed that it take time for a new councillor to get up and running, but also wondered if four years is too long if someone wants to serve for two terms.

Social media has made it easy for people to make immediate comments about politicians. Unless a person has a thick skin, he or she might not want to run for a second four-year term, Blackwell said.

 

Much of the support for the four-year terms came from the larger municipalities, said Mayor John Harwood. There they have expensive election campaigns, which means the politicians want to spread them out. On the other hand, councillors in the larger cities make 10 times what they do on Clearwater’s town council.