Ironically, it's not front-page news, but Steven Hill is leaving The Chief in the next week or so as its editor.His announcement started me thinking.
I don't think we as a community understand how lucky we are to have the media we have in Squamish. And I'm not saying that because I agree with everything they do or say.
However, I will tell you that plenty of communities - big and small - would be envious of the coverage given to local issues through The Chief, Mountain FM and Shaw. Two of our Council meetings are televised every month thanks to the efforts of Kelsey Webb and Alan Richardson, and Shaw provides community programming with mainly volunteers, including Denise Imbeau, Bianca Peters and Dean Richards.
Mountain FM has reporter Lindsay Logan appearing pretty much everywhere, and morning host Mike Ciccone is more visible than construction on the highway. That's in addition to his radio show that starts at 5:30 every morning. Then we have the Chief. Steven Hill and Sylvie Paillard have followed John French, who followed Tim Shoults (now the Publisher) who followed Darren Gallagher, who followed
All of them have irritated me from time to time, just like they irritated Corinne Lonsdale before me. And frankly, that is their job. They are to be the eyes and ears of the community, and their job is to try their best to get relevant information into the public domain.
They also share something in common with all members of Council, past and present. It doesn't matter what they write in the paper, say on the radio or broadcast on Shaw; people with differing points of view are not shy to let them know they are unhappy.
I worked at newspapers and radio in the past, and I can tell they are not in it for the money. It amazes me some nights when I see Steven or Sylvie sitting through 12 hours of Council, and knowing they have to go back and spend another three hours writing. On top of that, they cover everything from ribbon cutting to concerts to sporting events.I'm also amazed how smart they can appear on days they agree with me, and how slow they can be on days when they disagree.
With Steven leaving, it's a good time to thank all these people for what they bring to the community. And if you think I'm doing this to brown nose, I have news for youall these folks will go out of their way to criticize me in the next week or so to prove this didn't affect their judgment.
It's the beauty of media in a small town. I still miss it.
The Chamber of Commerce is working on some exciting plans to help our community maximize the opportunities that are in front of us. The Board and Staff of the Chamber are to be congratulated for partnering with individuals and programs that help make our business community stronger.
You have hopefully been reading and hearing about our efforts to crack down on criminal activity in Squamish. No one should think the task is easy, but the RCMP, Protective Services and other staff are finding innovative ways to make life tougher for both criminals and the building owners that make life easy for them.
Sometimes the best ideas are the ones you steal. The Town of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia has established a Youth Town Council. The Council mirrors the regular council, meets once a month and makes recommendations to the senior Council. More often than not, the regular Council sanctions their recommendations and priorities. We are looking at doing the same in Squamish. Suffice to say that an 18 year old has a better understanding of what's important to our youths than your (rapidly) aging Mayor.