City councillor Michael Dailly spreads the praise to many corners in a column about Nelson. File

COLUMN – Little things make a big difference here

Nelson is a very special to live.

Nelson is a very special place to live. And I’m not the only one who thinks this!

Our city has been described as “a hidden gem in the Kootenays,” vibrant, diverse and contemporary, with a dynamic arts and culture scene. Add in our reputation as one of the finest heritage cities in Canada, one of North America’s best ski towns and a top-rated mountain biking destination and it is no wonder that Nelson is often included in top-10 lists.

Let me list some of those lists that include Nelson: Nelson is “one of the 10 Most Beautiful Towns In British Columbia” – culturetrip.com; Nelson is “one of the best places to retire in B.C.,” – comfortlife.ca; Nelson “offers some of the best living conditions in the province,” – moneysense.ca; Nelson is “one of Canada’s best places to live in 2017” – macleans.ca. As recently as Dec. 14, in the growler.ca Nelson was described as “a shockingly sophisticated city that might have the highest rate of cool-stuff-per-capita of any city in the country.” The writer finished the article with “Honestly, I kind of want to move there.”

Nelson also made the top-10 list of “coolest ski towns in North America for 2018” matadornetwork.com. The City of Nelson ranked #4 “ in MoneySense magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Retire in Canada.” In November of this year expedia.ca asked people to identify their favorite small towns in Canada and yes, you guessed it, Nelson made the top 10. Have you ever wondered what keeps our light shining so brightly?

It is my assertion that Nelson has earned its reputation because many people who live and work here care enough to go the next step, they do the little things that make a big difference. You won’t find them on any lists so I have decided to make my own list to capture just a few. My apologies to those I’ve missed as you are just as important and deserving of recognition.

At the top of my list are the people from Nelson and surrounding areas who fill the approximate 4,000 volunteer roles in our arts, recreation, non-profit and sports organizations, festivals, boards, fire, police, chamber of commerce, city committees, service clubs, churches, and hospital settings. You make a valuable difference in the lives of so many people in our community.

Thank you to a long list of people!

To our city employees who contribute beyond the bounds of your job descriptions: Our police officers who uphold a 120-year tradition of keeping the peace and practicing community policing. In Nelson, exceptional proactive leadership is the norm as demonstrated by our Street Culture Collaborative, the fentanyl task force, and our Restorative Justice program. Our firefighters, who serve the community protecting life, property and the environment 24-7, also provide fire prevention inspections and delivery of FireSmart programs to reduce the impact of wildfire.

Nelson parks are postcard-perfect as staff provide thoughtful collaboration with community groups to ensure year-round successful events.

Our first-class transit and fleet maintenance teams are so meticulous that the city always fetches top dollar at auction when it goes to sell vehicles and equipment. Our public works department, always looking for ways to be more efficient, uses relining processes rather than replace and recycling processes for materials such as asphalt.

Nelson Hydro has a record of progressive efficiency that has resulted in fewer power outages and lower cost because of creative bundling of infrastructure upgrades.

Teamwork is the key in city departments and it is the individuals working on these teams making the effort to provide first class service that keeps the gem we call Nelson shining brightly for all to enjoy.

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