ROUSING THE RABBLE: City councillors and their 2011 election promises

The present slate of city councillors was elected on Nov. 19, 2011 and they were sworn in at an inaugural meeting on Dec. 5, 2011.

The present slate of city councillors was elected on Nov. 19, 2011 and they were sworn in at an inaugural meeting on Dec. 5, 2011.

Each of them made promises in their effort to gain voter support and it’s time to look at their work in relation to those promises.

Not many voters will remember what the candidates said in their published statements or on stage at the all-candidates forum, held at the Grand Forks Secondary School prior to the election, so here’s a brief overview.

Brian Taylor placed the renewal of the infrastructure at the top of his list. He hoped the referenda would pass to enable the city to have leverage when the time came to borrow several million dollars from the federal government. He also emphasized the need for city planning.

The referenda were passed, one for $1.3 million for an emergency water supply for fire protection and $4.2 million for roads, water and sewer upgrades.

Strategic Infrastructure Inc. was employed to conduct and inventory on the condition of city streets and roads and repair and replacement priorities. A report from the company was received on Sept. 4.

A two-day strategic planning session, involving councillors and city staff, was held in Jan. 2012. Only the councillors know how the planning has affected their work.

Patrick O’Doherty said he would focus on the general infrastructure and work with seniors and young families to provide affordable housing and health care.

Bob Kendel said he had a desire for meaningful change, a clear vision and motivated leadership. Part of his vision was a revitalization of agriculture in the area. He has a liking for the so-called super fruit, the Haskap Berry.

Gary Smith said he chose to run because he wanted to be active in the growth, development and prosperity of the city. He said he had ideas on what council must do in the next three years but has never elaborated on them.

Both Smith and Kendel appear to have shifted their focus away from agricultural initiatives.

Kendel chairs the Economic Development Advisory Committee and Smith is now immersed in the downtown revitalization project and the branding project.

Both Smith and Kendel recently announced that they support the idea of a community hall.  It’s not a new idea, as reports at city hall will show.

Cher Wyers opted for the continuance of what the previous council had begun. She wanted long-term planning and wanted the referenda to pass.

Wyers appears to be the one of the busiest of all councillors. She chairs the environment committee and attends meetings of the board of the Grand Forks Public Library Association among a lot of other activities.

Michael Wirischagin said he wanted Grand Forks to be a safe, secure community for all ages. He also saw the need for planning.

Just what Wirischagin meant by a safe, secure city has never been articulated publicly.

Neil Krog saw his role on council as that of a stabilizer and he promised to employ his experience to keep council members grounded. He also wanted Grand Forks to become self-sustainable.

Krog has never explained what he meant by the statement about his role at council meetings and he has not provided more detail on his vision of a “sustainable” community.

Councillors have special assignments and those can be found in the March 5 regular meeting minutes.

Taxpayers can take solace in knowing that the status quo prevails in council chambers, and in the knowledge that things won’t likely change much in the next couple years.

Coun. Wyers’ wish for continuance has come true.

Coun. Krog must be pleased that there has been no need to keep his fellow councillors grounded.

– Roy Ronaghan is a columnist for the Grand Forks Gazette

Just Posted

Grand Forks council recognizes shared responsibility to support establishing winter shelter

CAO: ‘I think, one way or another, you’re in this and you have been in this situation […]’

Richard Cannings re-elected in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

It was a close race with Conservative challenger Helena Konanz

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Federal NDP may support B.C. with major projects, Carole James says

SkyTrain Surrey extension, Massey Tunnel need Ottawa’s help

Most Read