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REPORTING · 9th August 2011
Merv Ritchie
It was a close call and a split Council when the vote was called on supporting the bid to purchase Shames Mountain. Councillor Bruce Bidgood made the motion to support the Friends of Shames with their “My Mountain” venture and their request for $200,000. He was supported by both Bruce Martindale and Brian Downie but that was where the support ended. All others voted against the motion and it failed.

“This was a very very bitter pill to swallow.” stated Bidgood. He felt the Ski Hill was a much better investment than putting the money towards demolishing the Co-op.

The Co-op demolition contract was awarded to the low bidder on the project, Snaring River Holdings. Councillor Lynne Christiansen voted against this motion stating she felt the demolition was nothing more than fulfilling an election promise. With the motion passed the Old Co-op building should be gone by October.

The financing of the demolition is to come from the ‘windfall’ of money delivered to the City by the Province in the form of a $375,000 grant called “Towns for Tomorrow”. The City administration has determined they will need to keep $65,400 to manage the demolition on top of the bid price of $219,000 by Snaring River. This still leaves $90,600 free for the City to use on future projects or to just leave in a surplus fund.

The Chamber of Commerce faced some stiff questioning and when council was debating the issue amongst themselves, Carol Fielding interjected into the councillors debate and had to be stopped by the Mayor. Her questions and comments were ruled “Out of Order”. At the formal meeting of Council a petitioner presents their information at the beginning of the meeting and at that time they can ask and answer questions regarding their issue. When the formal meeting resumes all of the talking belongs only to the Councillors. The Mayor has the right to initiate a further exchange but never does a petitioner have the right to interject into the ensuing debate between Councillors.

Fielding was witnessing how the request for a Full Time Mayor was being lost and started to make statements on how there wouldn’t be enough time before the next municipal election along with attempts to further justify the need, almost as if she was one of the sitting councillors. In the words of one Councillor, “She started to badger us”. With three hands raised by Councillors to point out this unusual conduct, Mayor Pernarowski was forced to order her to stop.

Some of the concerns raised included the need for a ‘Job Description’ for a fully compensated, full time Mayor. Just what would they be expected to do and how it was to be accomplished? The issue of how much the position should be paid was also raised. This also drew concerns about the exclusion of all working people from running for the position. It is a three year term and leaving a full time job would not suit most candidates. Another issue raised was regarding the reality. Only two other small communities have paid Mayors, Dawson Creek and Squamish and they have much more industry and growth issues to handle.

In the end the Councillors decided to send the discussion back to their administration to answer some of these questions and determine the appropriate way to approach this issue including whether it should be put to a referendum for the community to decide.
terrace mayor
Comment by les watmough on 20th August 2011
A full time mayor for Terrace in all of tha t discusion no one has mentioned MONEY. What wi the salary be for this new position? Going to establish the position then decide the stipned? I will take on the position for 35,ooo.oo peryear,and do a fine job too. Perhaps Helmut and I should start a bidding war for this plum. First one to the bottom wins! Les.
What's the rush?
Comment by Karen on 11th August 2011
I would like to ask Ms. Fielding, as the obvious spokesperson for the Chamber, "Why the rush?" to push through the full-time Mayor issue before the fall municipal elections.

I strongly suspect that the latest issues coming out of TDCC do have roots in undisclosed alterior motives. The manner in which these issues have been rushed and handled are rather questionable.
It is worth remembering...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 9th August 2011
...that two of the issues are a one-shot deal. The other is yearly. For two years of not having a full-time and salaried mayor you could do Shames with the money saved. In five years ...well, you get the point.
Say Yes to Shames
Comment by Rod Gee on 9th August 2011
Sorry to hear Council has decided the City won't participate in the Shames non-profit cooperative. Shames is truly a valuable regional recreational asset, and govt participation in the cooperative would be little different than in providing recreational facilities such as arenas, swimming pools, Terrace's Millenium park, etc.
Mt Timothy at 100 Mile House, and Mt. Cain, near Port McNeill, are both operating successfully using a non-profit (Society) model. Naysayers saying this isn't a viable model haven't done objective research, and likely haven't read the My Mtn Co-op business plan. This isn't going to be a for-profit private business. It's a nonprofit, community service cooperative with anyone eligible to own a share and participate in its success.
By the way, to respond to previous comments on this site about the the Schectman's early involvement with Friends of Shames, I'm sorry, but they haven't developed any ski areas as you suggested, but their group Mtn Rider's Alliance is currently proposing an area at Manitoba Mtn., on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. Google it and get the background on what local opinion is on that project.
My Mountain Cooperative/Friends of Shames needs more local support to let this non-profit venture be successful, from individuals, families, small businesses, larger corporate neighbours, and government. If you appreciate what Shames does to your and your family member's winter quality of life, please support the cause. The alternative is no ski area for the Northwest. No white knight is going to fly in and provide skiing for us; we have to do this ourselves!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I was one of the original members of the Friends of Shames registered Society, but am non longer involved due to other commitments.
Vote with a share...
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 9th August 2011

The surveys in regards to shames & a full time mayor seem to forget the demographic that is most important: those who are paying the tax.

Now if the survey is to represent the notion that yes we listen to the public then why not explain why coop was purchased in the first place.

No one yet has said how shames value is evaluated and the city buying into a business venture seems similar to what got the city into the coop mess in the first place. What about other businesses that have been affected over the years? What about neighboring towns? It's a can of worms that feelings should not be involved - it really isn't "City business"

Now to put the whole tax payer as "the boss" back into priority the council should realize black and white if people wanted to vote for a hill they'd buy a share.

It's not your money and how you feel, it's the tax payers money and how the tax payer feels.