I have had the good fortune to have been born and raised in this community and to raise my family here. I am also fortunate to be semi-retired and have the time to give something back to the town that has given so much to me, my family and my family before me. Also I currently manage a block of buildings in the downtown core and am concerned about the town`s future moving forward.
Williams Lake, like most interior resource based communities, is in a period of economic and social transition. Economics in the short term may get worse before they get better given the pending reduction in the annual allowable cut and the softwood lumber tariff looming in the forestry sector. That said, given our diversified overall economy [ forestry, mining, ranching, government, education ] and the fact that we are the geographic hub for such a large area, I think our long term prospects remain bright.
Establishing a new energy and spirit of community within the downtown core is what I think is needed starting today. It starts with one smile, one conversation and one relationship at a time. We already have a great foundation to build on with our mountain bike trails, murals, stampede, scout island ,endless outdoor possibilities etc.
When all is said and done it is people who make communities culturally diverse and interesting to live in so I would urge everyone to embrace what we already have and build on that.
Just like in most challenges we face I don`t see any easy answer but I also know that with hard work and, in the B.I.A.`s case, more membership engagement we can change a lot of things for the better in this town.
I would like to say in closing that the short time I have spent with the current board has been encouraging and makes me optimistic for our future.