Letters to the Editor: October 6

School bus awareness; Economics; Fresh ideas; Fisher Peak Chronicles

School bus awareness

I am constantly amazed and dismayed at the lack of knowledge drivers in this area have about the rules concerning school buses. As a bus driver, I see numerous examples every day of confusion or complete disregard for these laws and regulations.

Here’s a quick primer: If the alternating red overhead flashing lights are on, often with the swing-out stop signs most buses have now, traffic travelling in both directions must stop. Traffic can not proceed until the lights have been turned off. Period. It doesn’t matter if you can see students on the road or not, you have to stay stopped.

If, however, only an amber turn signal or hazard flasher are on, then it is perfectly legal to pass the bus, either from the front or back. It is always recommended that you do so with caution.

The overhead amber flashers indicate that the bus is approaching a stop where the red lights will be turned on, so you should be prepared to stop soon.

Anyone driving past a school bus with its red lights activated is breaking the law and is subject to major fines and demerit points on their license. You are also endangering the lives of our most precious resource, our children. Trust me, when I see someone passing in this situation, I take down the vehicle plate number, pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so and I call the police with the information. They almost always will respond quickly to such a call.

Also, I have a great view from my perch high above most traffic, so if I see someone using a hand-held phone while they are driving, I will often report you as well.

Let’s keep our kids safe, but let’s make sure we all know the rules.

Ron McConnell/Cranbrook

Economics

About three months or so ago, there was a letter in the Townsman from Sharon Cross highlighting her first term as a member of Cranbrook City Council.

First off, let me say that up to this point I had not formed any opinion or otherwise of this councillor, as I’ve had no contact whatsoever with her.

In her letter, she recapped all the social initiatives that she was working on or hoped to in the future. Now, who could take exception with any of these worthwhile issues and initiatives? But what completely surprised me was the total omission of any interest or involvement on her part in bringing new businesses or economic development to our City.

Where does she think the money is going to come from to support all these wonderful social causes she is hoping for? Obviously, it has to come from new taxes generated by new business.

The only hint I can see on this councilor’s political bent, is she is a member, along with the Mayor and one other councilor, of the CLC.

This organization is purported to be anti-development and this maybe confirmation of this.

We are a small city and I feel we just cannot have members of our council with any narrow focus.

The voters of Cranbrook should keep this in mind, when at the ballot box this Fall.

Neil Matheson/Cranbrook

Fresh ideas

Further to Carolyn Grant’s past editorial: “Where are the Candidates?”

So far in Kimberley we have Don McCormick who has declared he is running for Mayor, for council Darryl Oakley and Kent Goodwin and two new candidates, Sandra Roberts and Brent Bush have declared their intention, and Jack Ratcliff has withdrawn his name from further contention. There are also two incumbents who have given no indication of their intentions. This still leaves us with a possibility of one less declared candidate than positions.

I don’t think an extra year on the term is the reason for the lack of candidates. To me, a more plausible reason would be the hesitancy to get involved because of the way in which the affairs of this city have been managed over the last three years.

We have not had open and transparent government!

Most important decisions are made behind closed doors at in-camera meetings, which are not open to the public. At one Council meeting I attended, the Mayor openly chastised councillors in front of a packed gallery for trying to keep citizens informed.

A large percentage of projects the city undertakes go way over budget. I feel this is the result of poor financial planning, poor management and poor execution. An audit by the Municipal Auditor would verify — or refute — this. A motion has already been put forward by one of the councillors at the request of a number of concerned citizens and was approved by a majority vote of council, although reluctantly. While it may take some time for the audit to take place, hopefully it will lead to an improvement in planning, management and financing of future projects.

Here’s hoping the prospect of new leadership of council will give anyone thinking of throwing their hat in the ring the confidence to do so. It is not an old boys club; fresh ideas and progressive thinking are prerequisites.

With hard work and good leadership Kimberley can become a viable and sustainable community that isn’t totally reliant on how deep the taxpayer pockets are.

Come on potential candidates, we need some more fresh ideas on council.

Syd Fletcher/Kimberley

Fisher Peak Chronicles

I’ve just finished reading Keith Powell’s latest book, Fisher Peak Chronicles — Real stories from a tall mountain — the legacy of Mount Fisher. I highly recommend this interesting and entertaining read.

Everyone talks about Fisher Peak, whether it’s about the majestic appearance or the snowline or the opportunity to be at the top of Fisher Peak one day — as author Keith Powell stated — “it is our own little Mt. Everest, and scaling it has become a rite-of-passage for many outdoor enthusiasts”.

The book also features stories by Dan Mills, Janice Strong and Patrick Morrow plus many contributions from climbing legends such as Denny Kerr. The photos are high quality as well!

There is so much to learn about the history of Fisher Peak and Keith Powell has done a masterful job of weaving the numerous stories into a very enjoyable read.

Bruce Williams/Cranbrook