First, congratulations to Mayor-elect Peter Busse, Councillors-elect Laurie Hopfl, Jen Leach, Jamie Longhurst-Howe and Barb Wiebe, School District Trustee Orra Storkan, Area B Director Vivian Birch-Jones and the eventual victor in SLRD Area A, whoever you are. The new council represents a mix or experience and youthful energy, and faces opportunities as well as challenges. We wish the new council success because we firmly believe that when a council succeeds, Lillooet succeeds. Good Luck to Trustee Storkan who brings 25 years of experience as an advocate for parents and students to her position. And we look forward to seeing Vivian Birch-Jones serving in elected office. She’s already a community leader and a mover and shaker.
Second, Thank You to Marg Lampman. It seems she and the four councillors got off on the wrong foot at the beginning and were not always able to regain the equilibrium necessary to work together effectively. Marg should take pride and solace in her three decades of dedication to Lillooet. She behaved with dignity and integrity and set an example of a work ethic that was second to none.
Third, are there ways to improve the format of the All Candidates Forum? Councillor Wiebe reported how Cache Creek handles its forum. Would these four suggestions work in Lillooet?
1. No more long-winded questioners who take too long voicing their own views before arriving at an actual question.
2. No more questions addressed to all the candidates, which leads to candidates struggling to find something new and distinctive to say after the first three or four candidates speak.
3. No more soft questions along the lines of “How much do you love the REC Centere?” That question was not asked, but a similar one was. Would cutting the mom-and-apple pie questions leave more time for more pertinent and pointed questions?
4. And speaking of more pertinent questions, should the moderators be the ones asking written questions submitted by the public? We know people were reluctant, even afraid, to ask tough questions of individual candidates at the forum.