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Posted: March 30, 2014

March Mayor’s update

marygiulianoBy Mayor Mary Giuliano

Fresh snow has covered potholes and broken pavement caused by extreme weather fluctuations also resulting in flooding throughout the city. Crews did their best to clear the ice off the 1,200 catch basin drains as quickly as possible to alleviate the situation.

The CBT Community Directed Funds meeting was held in February to discuss the 10 top priorities determined by public consultations. Look for advertising in the near future regarding application to this funding.

A workshop of the Cumulative Effects Management Framework included an Elk River Valley Bottom Assessment study by the Elk River Alliance, a Michel Creek Assessment, a provincial update by Manager Leah Malkinson and a review on metrics used to measure and report riparian habitat if more human activity is added. Participants included Teck, Ktunaxa, BC FLNRO, ARAR, Environment Canada, DFO, Districts of Elkford, Sparwood, City of Fernie, RDEK, Elk River Alliance, and Wildsight. Facilitated by Stella Swanson, the goal is to provide better information to decision makers.

District of Sparwood Mayor Lois Halko, Electoral Area A director Mike Sosnowski and I met with Mainroads Manager Jim Conley last week to discuss improvements to highway maintenance. Conley stated that a positive benefit was the use of social media that has resulted in Mainroads being more quickly aware of areas of need.

Lions Club held the annual dinner to honour volunteers on March 8. Congratulations to all and to Lions members who are super volunteers in our community. Congratulations to the Fernie and District Historical Society on their 50th anniversary. Doug Fink, the only remaining founder was present and relayed stories on the beginning of the society.

OCP and Design Review Panel members (pictured above) who worked on the official community plan update for the past two years presented the draft plan to council last week. A mere thank you doesn’t seem enough to express gratitude to all involved who took the time to volunteer their knowledge and expertise to this subject.

ColMaryG Valentine TeaCouncil attended a Valentine Tea at the Trinity Lodge and spent the afternoon visiting with residents enjoying good conversation (right).

Residents living downtown have been experiencing disrupted sleep and they request that hours of bars be shortened. This falls to the provincial liquor control branch. The city has implemented a nuisance bylaw and increased lighting and cameras are under consideration. This issue will be on an April agenda and stakeholders will be invited to have the discussion on what else can be done.

Land use zoning changes, request for music on an outdoor patio, requests for funding assistance, all elicit strong comments and opinions from council and members of the public. It would be easy to make decisions based on emotion or on what is right for those most affected however regardless of how council feels personally decisions have to be made based on OCP and what is right for the whole.

Last month I accompanied a family member to the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook for an MRI test. I observed men and women exiting the hospital to access the mobile MRI trailer wearing cotton gowns. It was below zero weather and they were shivering. I wrote to Kootenay East Regional Hospital District board members and asked if a canvas or other mode of covering could be applied so as to provide privacy and protection from exposure.

A response from Interior Health states clients will now be offered blankets to walk outside. I’m not surprised at this response from IH. I suppose blankets are better than nothing. IH may be insensitive but not Fernie medical staff. Paramedics, first responders, emergency staff, doctors and nurses were absolutely wonderful to a member of my family who needed attention this past week. I could wax on indefinitely at how great and attentive they all were.

Kindness and thoughtfulness is so needed in emergency situations and I have to say again that our people here are undeniably wonderful at their jobs. A million thanks to all of you.

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