It was a town council meeting like no other. There was a good turn-out for what was to be Councillor Ray Jarvis and Mayor Randy McLean’s last regular town council meeting. Mixed emotions filled the room.
First off was another farewell though. Museum manager Sharon Anderson brought with her news of the museum’s past year and news of the future. The museum saw a record number of visitors in spite of its late opening this year. It was not until Canada Day when the doors reopened to the public to see the long awaited renovation. Anderson showed an impressive financial portfolio that was used well to maximize the renovation project that included a $50,000 donation from the Stout family. Phase I and II of the renovation are now completed with Phase III on the horizon. Anderson reported a grand total of $3300 has been donated towards this next phase of the estimated $60,000 needed.
It was to be Anderson’s last appearance before council as the museum manager. She did not renew her contract for the following year and the job is officially up for grabs. Councillor Frank Armitage said of Anderson, “You have done a tremendous job for us. You inherited a mess. When I look at these numbers, it doesn’t really show the big picture. What you’ve achieved is unreal. You’ve left us a legacy and we sincerely thank-you.”
“We recognize the tremendous amount of work you have put into our museum,” added McLean. “Princeton is known throughout B.C. for its history and now our museum is an anchor for our tourism industry. Between Sharon and Robin (Lowe-Irwin) – you two pulled it off and did a heck of a job.
Councillor Jarvis attended the Remembrance Day service held in conjunction with the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion where he was the acting chaplain for the event. Jarvis commented on the election joking, “I went back to the polls at ten to eight to vote 21 more times and they wouldn’t let me in. “I congratulate Kim Maynard on a close race.”
Jarvis also reported on a matter close to his heart. “There are seniors and disabled who cannot shovel the snow around their homes and they’re stuck and have no one. Something has to change. I would gladly sit on a committee to help council address this problem.”
Councillor Frank Armitage commented on the Remembrance Day service adding, “It was gratifying to see it so well attended by our youth. It is symbolic of a community that comes together with understanding.”
Armitage too commented on the problems snow causes for those less able. “I wonder if we could get a backhoe to clear driveways on those big snowfall days? Perhaps it is something we could build into our budget.”
Councillor Marilyn Harkness talked health care again. “It has been difficult finding locum doctors to fill three weekends in December,” she said. “The doctors want to be with their families over the holidays just like everyone else. It is something we are constantly working on and hope we can change soon.”
“For the past nine years I have listened to a lot of things and one thing that has really bugged me,” stated Jarvis, “is the people who have concerns and yap on the street or write letters to the newspapers, but haven’t got the guts to come see council. They are yellow bellies afraid of a face to face with council.”
After Jarvis got this pet peeve out of the way, he said, “ As far as I’m concerned our present CAO is the best CAO we have ever had. He has some good ideas and is able to follow through with our projects. The last three years we have had the most progressive council I have ever worked with and I was honoured to work with them.
Jarvis concluded stating, “The airport improvements were my greatest achievement. I am thankful the terminal building was named after me. It was a great honour. I have had a good run and enjoyed it all.”
McLean addressed the incoming mayor Fred Thomas. “I believe you are inheriting a great council and a good staff and crew in good financial standing. Patrick, Shirley and Lyle have all shown their skill and I thank them and the entire staff and crew for our town. Princeton is my vibrant hometown. I love the groups and volunteers who make it such and they too need to be thanked.”
Lastly, McLean thanked his wife Lynda and family. “You have provided me with the love and support I have needed.”
Many others in the room thanked Mayor McLean and Councillor Jarvis for their many years of service. “It has been wonderful working with you both,” stated Harkness. “I will really miss you.”
“I thank this council for the last three years and it is sad to see you leaving us,” added CAO Robins.
“I am sorry to see you go and hope you have trained us well,” concluded Armitage. “We have accomplished a lot and I hope we can continue to forge forward for this great community we live in.