• Friday, August 24th, 2018

Last year, 2017, was a year of loss for me….several deaths, the loss of a job that I loved,  boards I sat on struggled with funding issues….it was a tough year.  One of those years where your heart aches constantly and hope seems distant.  In November 2017,  I decided that my “year of loss” would end December 31st and January 1st 2018 would become my year of change. It has certainly been a year of change; a wonderful, new job, a daughter heading to college, a new relationship and next week I will file my papers to become the Mayor of Tumbler Ridge, the community I love.

I’ve have always believed that the way to show that you care about something is to get involved, so involved is what I have been.  When ever there is an event in town, I am likely to be there volunteering.  I’m Race Director for the Emperors Challenge, Chair of our amazing Library, Vice President of the Museum Foundation, I worked with the CBC to bring in Still Standing after they received several  letters from our Community inviting them to town,  I volunteer every year for Grizfest and TR Cares, I volunteer to write grants for not for profits to help them with projects, and the list goes on.  The reason I volunteer is because I want to make Tumbler Ridge a better place for people to live.  And it is on this basis that I will be putting my name in for Mayor.

I hear a lot of people complaining about the things that are happening in Tumbler Ridge and I have said it many times…I don’t think anyone makes decisions to   purposefully harm our town.  I believe that people, Council and volunteers do what they do because they truly believe it is going to help our town, but there are things I am seeing that need to be part of the “year of change” and this is what I’m building my platform for Mayor on.

First, I believe our most precious resource in Tumbler Ridge is not coal or tourism….our most precious resource is our volunteers.  The people who give of themselves, taking time away from their families to make Tumbler Ridge the amazing place it is.  I’ve always said that almost every great thing in Tumbler Ridge was built by volunteers and that is because volunteers do what they do out of passion.  We have amazing recreation trails, a swimming pool, a saddle club, Search and Rescue, a skate park, a museum, a geopark, a library board, fire fighters, ambulance attendants,  a music festival  and a world class mountain race, to name a few, because of volunteers.  I believe we need to re-look at how we treat our volunteers and the people of TR who are trying to make the town a better place.

Second, our local small business need the strong support of the town.  Our business owners are people who invested not only their time and energy to this community but also their finances.  These are people who believe in the town so much, that many of them have put everything they have into their business allowing the people of TR to have things they need locally.  We need to support and thank these people for what they have brought to our town.  Without business, you don’t really have a vibrant community.

Third, and possibly the most important. It seems like there is a lot of “stuff” going on in town.  Volunteer groups struggling to survive, funding being pulled from groups, misunderstandings and finger pointing.  This has to stop if we are going to move forward.  We are currently in a situation where the Provincial Government is looking at revitalizing the Environmental Assessment  process, and recreation areas are facing shut down because of  Caribou protection.  Things like this could have a long term effect on Tumbler Ridge, our recreation and our industry.   We need to involve ourselves in these things, making them a priority and focus our energy on making sure we don’t lose what we have.

The last thing I will mention is respect.  We need to do these things respectfully.  We need to treat each other with respect. We need to acknowledge that each of us has an opinion and each opinion if valuable.  We need to work together as a community to become stronger and more vibrant. When Conuma Coal came into town, we began a move in a very positive direction, people are back to work, there are jobs, houses are selling.  Now we need to build on that and all work together to make Tumbler Ridge a place where people want to live, work and play.

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3 Responses

  1. 1
    Beth Johnson 

    Jerrilyn, I am so pleased that you are running for Mayor. Your community couldn’t do better than to have you shepherding in the changes that will make TR even better. Your commitment to your community has been clear to me since I first met you, probably a decade ago, and it hasn’t wavered. All the best, my friend!


  2. 2

    Thank you Beth…this means a lot to me coming from someone with your experience and knowledge of local government.

  3. 3
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