I see in the last couple newspaper editions, including this week's Pass Herald, that our Mayor and Council are having little to no luck getting people to join their Economic Development Committee and as a result they have had to extend their application deadline...
Three applications have been accepted for the Economic Development Board. The board requires seven to nine members.
With me being one of the three who threw his hat into the ring of fire, so to speak, that means only two other brave hardy souls here in the Pass threw theirs in as well. Two others from a population of approximately 5,400 residents? Something definitely wrong with this picture?
Could it be that word got out that the former Adhoc Committee, which for all intents and purposes was and is a duplication of what the intent behind this latest reincarnation is, was a colossal waste of everybody's time? In other words, here we go again... more déjà vu. No thanks!
Or was it the recent sour taste of what transpired with the cancellation of Thunder in the Valley followed by the brave and admirable attempt by some members of council and their spouses to make good of a bad situation with going ahead with Rum Runner Days, as if the same crowds would appear, costing us an arm and a leg in the process. The lack of volunteers there spoke volumes... as did the collective pie in the face.
Or could it be that almost two thirds through their mandate mayor and council still hasn't gotten serious about economic development in a majorly depressed area with record levels of unemployment, stagnation, population decline, business and industry closures and economic decline bordering on depression, as well as social collapse.
I mean if mayor and council doesn't take any of this seriously making it their number one priority from the get-go, then why should anybody else, right? Maybe this here is the message people have received and therefore they can't be bothered flogging a dead horse... never mind actively working to resuscitate one.
For years now, I have stated on numerous occasions when as a former councillor, in letters to the editor, in election speeches, in public forums, etc., etc. and here on this blog, that what this community needs is a catalyst.
Many communities appear to have the characteristics that support community development and yet there is no community development initiative or plan in place. The reason for this is that the conditions that support community development are not, in and of themselves, enough to initiate community development. A spark or catalyst is needed. A catalyst for community development is an individual or group who believes change is possible and is willing to take the first steps that are needed to create interest and support.
Community development catalysts create a vision of what is possible. They ask questions and promote discussion among community members. By creating interest, energy and motivation for action, the catalyst makes community development come alive.
Time, after time, I offered myself up for this role. Whether it was in applying for a position as a Tourism Coordinator/EDO, or when I applied to sit on the Adhoc Committee, or in my failed attempts to be Mayor. All my actions to help were brushed aside, by people who thought they knew better, or whose pride coupled with their arrogance couldn't stand the thought of someone from the other side of the tracks knowing better or having more passion than they did, having in the past only had their moneyed-class in positions of authority.
So what have we landed up with over the years? More "tyranny of the status quo", as we slowly sink away like the Titanic into oblivion. Who will remember our heritage, that we seem so unduly fixated on, when there is no one left to remember?
Alright, the last part was a a slight exaggeration. But I think you get my point. Do we continue down the road we have been on for so long, or do we finally change direction by admitting people to the club who can effect the change we need?
This, I believe, is the question mayor and council needs to address if they ever hope, during the remainder of their term, to get the right people on board to effect the change this community desperately needs.
Knowing how to think empowers you far beyond those who know only what to think.