Numbers add up to disappointment

Editorial comments relating to the public turnout for City budget forum

When the public speaks, sometimes the silence is deafening.

It’s never a tough thing to come across some heated opinion on a particular topic. It could happen in the check-out line at the supermarket, the waiting room at the clinic, or just about anywhere we might have a chance to rub shoulders with our neighbours.

The one thing shared by all of these scenarios is that nothing constructive can actually be done about whatever it is that’s being discussed.

It’s when the time comes to actually take part in a community process that the depth of peoples’ sentiments is demonstrated. If it means making time to attend a public forum staged by municipal staff and elected officials… well, maybe those issues weren’t so pressing after all.

Just what the issues happen to be is not the point, the point is that for all but seven local residents there was nothing in the sphere of municipal involvement worth showing up to talk, or hear about at the recent function described on pages one and 12 of this week’s paper.

Something like the recall of a hated tax can easily stir the emotions, but there are plenty of issues on the civic agenda that are definitely important to just about everyone who resides in and around the City of Castlegar.

Maybe for the next such event they could save the formality of using the Community Forum facility and get a couple of tables together at a local coffee shop?