So long and thanks for all the fish
Ok, so it is not the end of the world, but it is the end of something of an era.
The Chris Prosser era.
After 15-ish years as District of Invermere Chief Administrative Officer, and a previous five years as planner, Chris and his wife Nicole and family are headed to High River to start an all new adventure.
And I am going to miss them both. Rather a lot.
In my early days as a reporter at The Valley Echo, when Chris was still in Planning and Development, I am sure I drove him round the twist more than once with my calls and questions. He would likely deny it, but I am sure there were a few times he put his head wearily in hands after dealing with the over-eager new reporter I was back then.
More recently it has been my camera that makes him cringe, and I admit I have taken some glee in wrangling a snap or two of him at events… him grinning and dodging to avoid me. It’s been something of a game.
But fun is fun, and work is work.
And Chris has done a hell of a good job. In his own words, “you don’t have to change your plans every five years just because you have to change your plans every five years.” And staying that course has seen goals made all those 20-ish years ago become reality for Invermere.
There are a lot of paddles in the water when guiding a municipality, but that all-important rudder is what keeps it all on course, navigates the rapids, keep things steady in those smoother waters that we all know run deep.
And for 15 years, Chris Prosser has been that rudder.
Journalists and government have an always-interesting relationship. My job is to get the news, present all sides as best I can, keep my opinion to myself and sometimes ask tough questions. And in a small community, those questions are even tougher to ask when the person you are asking has become, dare I say it, a friend. It is hard for both sides, sometimes. But I do not remember a time when Chris has not done his job, answered all questions, be them easy or tough, and remained professional the whole time. You are a good bean, Chris. I have appreciated you more than you know.
And you are taking my Nicole.
While Chris has been a staple at the DOI, Nicole has been my rock at the Invermere Public Library. What am I going to do without you, Nicole? The always-smiling, ever unflappable saviour of my bookish routine, accepting my almost compulsive need to read all things in order, my tendency towards being overdue and often scatterbrained, the lists and lists of books I simply “need to read.”
And your smile. Oh how I am going to miss your smile.
It bears repeating: I am going to miss you both. I think it safe to say I am among many here who will.
And of course we will see you all again when you visit.
But until then, rest assured, I will do my best, we will do our best… to stay the course.
With much affection, Stevens.
Lead image: Outgoing DOI CAO Chris Prosser, left, with wife Nicole and daughter Meighan. Stephanie Stevens photo