The importance of local governments

Summerland Janice Perrino election acclamation Michael Brydon

I would like to begin this week by congratulating Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino and RDOS Area F Director Michael Brydon who were both re-elected through acclamation last Friday for a further three years of service in local government.

I would also like to recognize the dozens of citizens in communities throughout the South Okanagan who have also accepted a nomination to run for elected office.

Local government is at the grass roots of our communities and the importance of people taking part of this process is all part of creating a healthy and vibrant region.

I would like to wish all candidates well as the Nov. 15 election date approaches.

For more information please visit the www.municipalelections.com website.

With the coming of the fall also comes flu season.

Once again eligible British Columbians who would like to get vaccinated are now able to do so at flu clinics throughout the province.  Flu vaccinations are also available from a variety of different health-care providers, including family physicians, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and dedicated flu clinics. The vaccine is provided free of charge to high-risk groups and their regular contacts.

All other British Columbians are able to purchase the vaccine for a fee.

For further information please visit the www.health.gov.bc.ca/flu/ website or visit my office.

On a different theme, one issue that I have received a fair amount of comment on over the years is resource road use.  Locally long terms challenges over maintenance and upkeep of resource roads and small bridges has resulted in closures that can create a barrier for public recreation users.

At the same time ensuring that public safety standards can be met is also a challenge given the immense costs of maintaining and monitoring de-activated and lesser used back country roads.

Recently a discussion paper has been prepared to inform stakeholders on proposed principles and key policies for consideration.

British Columbians are invited to comment on proposed policy that can increase certainly and consistency of natural resource road regulations.  This discussion paper is available online at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/nrra/

Before I close this week’s report I would like to thank those currently elected public office holders who have decided to retire from local government leadership.

Long time community leaders such as Bill Schwarz, Tom Chapman, Larry Little, Connie Denesiuk and others have given many years of service to the public.

As I often like to announce at groundbreaking events, nothing happens by accident in public office.

Getting things done at all level of government requires dedication, perseverance and considerable time and effort.  Over the years these individuals, like many of their colleagues, have given generously and spent time away from friends and family to serve.

I would like to thank all of outgoing community leaders for the work they have done over the past three years.

Bill Barisoff is the MLA for Penticton.

 

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