All over the province, mayors and councilors are declaring whether they'll run for office again. That's right kids! Hold on to your hats, those annoying 'vote for me' signs are about to pop up right beside the dandelions.
For, dare I say, most of Squamish that is very good news. Over the last three years (yes it's been that long) we've been subject to the most flabbergasting display of local politics. Their greatest accomplishment, (besides the library hours and log books) is the amazing divide they created in the community. Like it or not, since they've been elected, we (yes even you) have been forced to take a side.
Really the lightning rod moment was when the woodchips blew into town. It was then they drew a line and demanded you chose a side. Unfortunately their baffling obsession with turning every issue forestry, blinded them to the true potential of Squamish.
I suppose we should clarify who 'they' are: Mayor: Corrine Lonsdale. Councilor: Paul Lalli, Cheryl Bass, Wendy Magee, and Rick King. With the woodchip issue they clearly stated what they believe 'The downtown of Squamish is to be industrial and we're moving it to the Super Ate Downtown Industrial Park'. The town publicly turned on them at the now legendary meeting. They lost because they turned it into a forestry issue, which is what they know. Do not get me wrong, thank God forestry fed families for as long as it did, but this cruel world is spinning fast and we've got to hold on.
This Council has made it perfectly clear that they are blind to future enterprise not forestry related and tourism is a four letter word deserving of the wooden spoon. Their strong-arming of Shelly Smith by childish behavior towards her place of business was just the tip of their bitter iceberg.
But that was then and this is now.
Wendy and Cheryl already admitted they made a mistake and are not running again. Raj is. So now all eyes are on Corinne Lalli and Paul Lonsdale. Rumors run rampant, as these two stay strangely silent. But it's no secret Paul's 'yes man' eyes are fixed directly on the mayor's chair. Too bad really, he could have gotten away with it too if it hadn't been for those pesky woodchips. Once the woodchip incident started it was obvious Paul didn't care about his constituents. Or more accurately he couldn't hear the community pleading while his head was so far up the company line. Memory is short, but unfortunately for Paul he didn't pull out quick enough.
Now fresh, intelligent people are waiting to declare their candidacy but they're timid. They don't want to be classified as a group. I can see why, this council continually used the 'gang of 4' slugline to get elected, and all the while they were the Squamish 5.
Slate, gang, mensa, call it what
you will, what we really need now is for Corinne and Paul to do the honorable
thing. State their plans so we can finally get on with living in the Outdoor
Recreation Capitol of CanadaT.