May 2011 Newsletter

Living in Interesting Times

Politics: it seems like nobody’s talking about it, then suddenly everyone is. We swing from cynical disinterest to partisan fever. Too little attention, and things stagnate; too much and they threaten to fly apart. We tsk and tut over lapses into incivility and hope to still have our friends after heated debate. Good luck to us!

At the April 15th All-Candidates Meeting, Gary Lunn, Edith Loring-Kuhanga, Elizabeth May and Renee Hetherington provided Mayne Islanders with a glimpse of their respective substance and style. The political positions of the candidates and their parties were no mystery to most of the audience, who appeared to already possess a map of who fit where on the spectrum. Do you suppose anyone changed their voting intention based on anything they heard in the Ag Hall that day?
Event sponsor MIRRA would like to thank Elma Maund for stepping into the role of Moderator and keeping things on track, Dave Maude for corralling all the candidates into the same place on the same day, and Bob McKinnon for making sure the shared microphone’s cord didn’t get wrapped around anyone’s neck. And thanks to the people of Mayne for welcoming the candidates with obviously keen interest and many sharp questions.

The next day, the community assembled again for the AGM of the M.I. Improvement District, curious no doubt to see how things would shake out after the recent fire hall referendum. What occurred was a bit of a crash course in the mysteries of improvement district finances. Salaries reported in aggregate caused some surprise amongst the audience when one courageous fellow read out the breakdown, comparing them critically to similar-sized communities and pointing out that the recent trend was increasing alarmingly, and the situation was “out of control…” Other questioners reinforced the point that costs were becoming too high and needed to be controlled, and that the Improvement District should look into providing financial statements that were more comprehensible to average islanders. The Board agreed this was desirable and would likely be pursued by a future Board. Deputy-Chair John Hoff presided over a sometimes-tense meeting with an adroit combination of flexibility and firmness.
MIRRA congratulates the newly-elected Trustees and supports the Board in its goal of forwarding the fire hall project and addressing the concerns of the community for fiscal responsibility.

Keeping with the theme of Politics:
• October 29th: CRD All-Candidates Meeting
• November 14th: Islands Trust All-Candidates Meeting
After that, we may be ready for a break…

Sincerely,
MIRRA Executive

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