Both sides of the prison issue are saying the right things.
Given that a decision has finally been made and a correctional facility isn’t going to Lumby, those who championed the yes and no campaigns are calling on residents to put aside the past year of conflict and to move ahead.
Obviously that is going to be easier said than done for some people. A lot of harsh words and accusations were tossed around and friendships were tested.
But Lumby and the surrounding rural area are so much more than just a single issue. There is a rich history of neighbours helping neighbours and people volunteering behind the scenes whether it’s at school, service clubs or sports groups. Families have called the White Valley home for decades and there is a common bond among them.
Among those bonds, unfortunately, is the changing economy. Mills have closed over the years and children have been forced to leave town to pursue careers.
That’s why the pain and conflict over the prison can be channelled into something positive.
Now is the time for village council and those who lobbied for and against a jail to stand side by side and look at ways to create long-term, viable jobs.
First off, council should consider holding a public meeting about people’s visions for the future where residents can also express themselves openly about the pain they may have encountered or may have initiated as the prison was being debated. If negative emotions are left unaddressed, any chance of moving ahead will be limited.
It should be pointed out that the entire jail controversy revealed that there is a lot of pride in Lumby and a passion for the place people call home. That is a sentiment worth building on.