Editor, The Times:
Looking back, the past mayor and council of Clearwater have served us well by moving forward cautiously while leading the newly minted District of Clearwater. Thank you.
Spending has been for the most part responsible while focusing on some of the right priorities.
Looking into the future, we need to consider community priorities with increasing scrutiny within the context of future trends within our social and economic systems. All viewpoints and positions on issues will be carefully considered. Supporting candidates that believe economic proposals should be viewed through a sustainability filter is relevant, as the OCP does not adequately address this vital and contemporary issue.
Leaders willing to step outside their comfort zone to express individual viewpoints and who are innovative score high, while some who enter the sphere of power and influence can get stuck in the herd, stepping outside of expectations can be tough. Consideration to candidates who facilitate the voices of all voters and community groups get support and those who focus on the issues, while avoiding denigrating comments aimed at the group or individual expressing their views and concerns, are the true leaders.
Candidates willing to shed the static dogma that can prevail in politics and who are truly open to consider all aspects of proposed industrial developments instead of jumping on the band-wagon armed with blind faith and worn out rhetoric will be noticed.
Pointing to specific issues there are valuable unused assets within the District of Clearwater, such as the abandoned planer mill site located in the lower village. This land is privately owned and is apparently contaminated from the industrial activities that occurred here. The owner of this property should be requested to support and conduct the environmental remediation necessary for having the land available for re-development. Several proposals and ideas have come forward in the past including, a heritage village and recreational area with attached linear park. It is flat, waterfront land with amazing views, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, a priority should be made to reduce both human and environmental health concerns that may be present.
Developing a community conservation policy that includes specifics to address proposed and current developments within endangered and threatened species habitat needs leadership. Balanced spending for all community recreational facilities and services needs to occur, currently there is a lack of equanimity in financial support especially for the Clearwater Ski Hill, which provides broad community benefits. This is a provincially unique feature attraction and not maximizing this asset as a draw for winter tourism is a mistake.
While the canoe regatta is a great fun day for the community it is not a destination tourism event due to the season. It seems to require an exorbitant amount of municipal funds. It would be good to see this specific budget revisited. It is unlikely that this would affect the quality and fun of the event.
Good luck to everyone who has chosen to dedicate their time to serve our community.
Dana Foster Ludwig