Opinion

BEYOND THE HEADLINES: Enderby council shines

Enderby council served up a special Christmas breakfast to local students. - Morning star file photo
Enderby council served up a special Christmas breakfast to local students.
— image credit: Morning star file photo

It’s true this Christmas wasn’t as colourful in Enderby as in the past.

With the revitalization of downtown Enderby, all of the trees along Cliff Avenue were removed because of poor conditions. Along with them went the Christmas lights, which were old, with some bulbs actually missing.

Despite the lack of lights, the organizers of the community celebration still put together a number of festive activities. But even with all of the volunteer efforts, it still wasn’t enough for some people.

“This is the first time in the 26 years of our residency in the little city that I am embarrassed by the lack of decorations,” wrote one person on social media.

Another person went as far as to say, “The mayor and council are not doing their job.”

Now, obviously, people are entitled to their views but the Enderby council being described is not the council I know.

Just a few weeks ago, I spent the morning with most of council as they served up pancakes to virtually every student at M.V. Beattie Elementary. The day before, they were at A.L. Fortune Secondary.

Their own families and jobs were put on hold temporarily as they fed the community’s youngest citizens.

“We recognize the need in our community,” said Coun. Raquel Knust.

“This is mayor and council’s donation to our kids. It comes out of our own money.”

At the same time Knust and Councillors Tundra Baird, Brad Case, Roxanne Daveyduke and Shawn Shishido were in the kitchen, Coun. Brian Schreiner was at a chamber of commerce meeting and Mayor Greg McCune was using his own truck to haul items to the food bank for hampers.

And this wasn’t just a one-off.

Knust has been a driving force, with other residents, to ensure the food bank remains viable, and on Canada Day, council combined with Area F director Herman Halvorson to dress up and march in the parade.

On top of this, you can find most of them attending various events, not individually but as an entire group. It’s their way of supporting the community and the charities that are the virtual backbone of the town.

Now I should point out that I have covered local politics in the North Okanagan for almost 27 years, and have seen how various councils interact with each other.

From my own experience, the current crop of elected officials in Enderby is the most outgoing and responsive yet. They genuinely like to be in each other’s company outside of city hall and they roll up their sleeves and do odd jobs without any glamour or publicity because they love Enderby and, more importantly, its residents.

Now there was the person who stated that, “The mayor and council are not doing their job.”

But the reality is none of this is their job. They are required under provincial legislation to conduct the business of the city, including enforcing bylaws, approving development permits and preparing budgets. At no time does legislation mandate council to flip pancakes, volunteer in community groups or hang lights from trees.

Enderby residents should appreciate the politicians they have and their willingness to go beyond the confined role given to civic councils.

And as for those Christmas lights, don’t wait for city hall to step up to the plate. Join the committee that organizes the Enderby Christmas celebrations and ensure that the 2017 festivities are the best ever.

 

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