The process of Sun Peaks becoming the first Mountain Resort Municipality in British Columbia was a difficult road filled with study committees, municipal consultants, provincial ministries, First Nations consultation and of course local public meetings and input from the community.
It seems leading up to incorporation, many residents and businesses voiced concern about the new municipality and what it would mean for the community. Would taxes go up? Who would be on council? What if I can’t vote? Where does Sun Peaks Resort Corporation fit in? And the list of questions and concerns went on and on.
Move forward to today and the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality now has a mayor and four councillors. Council hired a new Chief Administrative Officer and has set forth renting office space, building a website, setting municipal policy and enacting the numerous community bylaws that will, going forth, cover the how, when and why of local governance in Sun Peaks, B.C.
But does anyone really care?
I ask because during the Aug. 23 Sun Peaks Council meeting, you could’ve thrown a fish net into the public gallery and caught nary a soul. In fact there were only four people other than council and staff in the room. In attendance was the spouse of one of the councillors, yours truly covering the municipal beat for SPIN and two opposed neighbours waiting patiently to see if council would further their cause. So where are all the people who showed interest before incorporation and were all up in arms about change? Your guess is as good as mine.
The new mayor and council have a lot of work ahead of them and there’ll certainly be the need for public meetings and community consultation down the road. Shouldn’t we as a community at least show up and lend our voices and ears to those we elected to guide us through the juggernaut of municipal incorporation? After all it is “your” community.