Tuesday, Sept. 15: a very successful hour or two shopping on Baker St. For a most reasonable fee, a software check and computer at Phoenix Computers. A free extra pair of prescription reading glasses at l’Optique unexpectedly offered as compensation for an extra week’s wait for those I ordered. A knit Patagonia vest for half the regular price. A hardcover book in mint condition — a title that I wanted — from the Booksmyth, at 40 per cent of the new price. All within two blocks.
This tiny number of mostly locally-owned retailers, selling a wide range of products and services is one of the attractions of Nelson. In contrast, little or nothing that council does adds anything to the habitability of Nelson — other than routine maintenance, and this is typically done at twice the cost that other municipalities incur.
Council seems unable to do anything more than to pose, preen, play and pretend. They are always posing for pictures. They preen and congratulate themselves on what busy hardworking public servants they are. They take the position that they, and never the citizens have any meaningful role in decision making. Half their meetings, where decisions are made, are closed to the public.
They play with purposeless projects, costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars and with the requisite but coy names such as “Railtown” or “Stores to Shores.” These add virtually nothing to the habitability of the town.
And all of this is being done while the city may be slowly running out of water. Climatologists are predicting another short, warm, dry winter for us. Last year the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California was less than 10 per cent of normal.
If anything approaching this happens in the southern Selkirks, Nelson may be the first city in Canada to run out of water. Reporters from across Canada, perhaps across the world, will have a field day asking how a city on BC’s third largest lake could possibly have run out water. Of course, they will stay in Castlegar.
But, wait, worry not. Anna Purcell has told us that our infrastructure is not only “ahead” of all other municipalities, but “light years ahead.” The oracle has shown magical insight, available only to members of council. All that they need to do is to conjure up a water supply equivalent to “Railtown” and council will have solved the problem. After all, reality resides in the words and in the imagination. We can then flush our toilets with “Supernatural Waters,” thanks to a preternatural city council.
This has been written not by a right winger but a social democrat.