Update & RDCK weekly agenda, from Aimee Watson, Feb. 2020

Happy Belated Family Day! We had a great weekend with family and friends gathering for food, stories and snow fun, grateful for all those close to me <3

This week at the RDCK we have our monthly meeting marathon, 9 in total over 4 days. We start with our Resource Recovery Plan committee, sustainability and our executive emergency committee today. Wednesday is Rural Affairs, Joint and Central Resource, Board on Thursday and budget and housing on Friday. All agenda’s are posted below including a monthly report from me.

Two updates, first is my schedule. I have not had an office day for several weeks and will not until early March. With budget season and too many meetings, my cup is over filled. With that, I am doing my best to keep up with emails and the ever growing list of items to attend to. I am hoping to gain some administrative support in the future but do note that this job is a one woman job, I am doing my best but the demands are more than the time available. Any requests I get that involve an RDCK service where I do have staff available, I am forwarding to them for support. I sincerely apologize if you have an issue I have yet to attend to, you are on the list!

Second, Lardeau Park. With a note of warning, I am an honest person and this update may be a little hard to hear.

I never would have guessed that a public consultation regarding what amenities should or should not be at a rural waterfront park would instigate such hateful, misleading and disrespectful input. I am horrified to read some of the emails and accompanying accusations simply because Mayor Hewat and I wanted to engage residents, who pay for this park, what their views and visions were. 

A few facts:

– there has been no decision made at this time on the future of the park

– public consultation only closed yesterday, staff are preparing a summary of all input that will then be sent to Mayor Hewat and I to review early March

– the proposed plan, depending on which one Mayor Hewat and I support; which depends on the cumulative public input, will go to the RDCK board at our March meeting including all of the public input received. 

– sending repeated emails indicating you are not being heard when there has been no decision made is misinformed of the process and ignorant to the fact that there are over 2500 voices in this conversation

– no matter what side you are on, forgive me for hoping communities could work together and not grow to be more divisive then ever, there are no ill intentions to either destroy the community by allowing a wharf nor are their ill intentions to discriminate against seniors if we do not allow a wharf

– the wharf being included in the draft plan is because that is what this park was originally acquired by the RDCK to provide as an amenity, when Mayor Hewat and I were elected and learned that there was opposition and no clear record of all taxpayers being consulted, we requested community consultation before any projects move forward. 

– the last community consultation did indicate only 23% wanted that wharf and many assumed it was done, however the other figure not included in that fact is that the 23% response came from less than 20 residents who responded out of 2500; not enough to draw a conclusion so we went back to you

– all of your emails on this consultation have been received, staff confirms with each submission, re sending them only adds to the 2000+ I need to sort through, it does not increase the value of your voice

– Mayor Hewat is equally a partner in this decision and on this service, if you are a Kaslo resident, please submit your input to her at mayor@kaslo.ca

One final note, I am trying hard to still love the work of working for the people. When the discourse becomes disrespectful, accusatory of ill intentions and I cannot run errands with my son without being bombarded by hateful words for suggesting a rural park- I lose faith and inspiration in why I am doing this work. There is no power, there is no personal gain other then less and less time with my family and friends, there is only the sheer belief and commitment that rural communities are a rare gem and working for you is my hope in a stark future, please do not erode that. I do this work for each and every voice, but with 1380 of you, you must accept I cannot please you all but I am trying very hard to find that common ground.

Here are this weeks agenda’s:

https://rdck.ca/EN/meta/events/events-list/meetings.html

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