Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pucks in the net and votes in the ballot boxes

The Daily News editorial page of Monday was overflowing with boosterism as Earl Gale recounted two highly entertaining events of the weekend.

perhaps mindful of now former Mayor Herb Pond's recent chastisement over negativity, the Daily found much to celebrate about Prince Rupert from the weekend.

From the success of Prince Rupert's CIHL team the Rampage with their first victory of the year to the surprising ballot counts of the election, the paper found much to look forward to in the future.

Great things on the horizon
Earle Gale
The Daily News
Monday, November 17
Page 4

Great things on the horizon

What an exciting weekend it was to have been out and about in this great city of ours.

It would have been a classic, even if the craft fair was the only thing on the agenda.

It would have been sensational, even if the heart-pounding action of the Prince Rupert Rampage's big hockey win was all that happened.

But package up those two top-drawer items with a municipal and school board election and you get a weekend for the history books and one that few people will forget for many years to come.

The fact that the fledgling Rampage got their huge win against Terrace on the same day that we chose a new mayor created a strong sense of change in Prince Rupert.

It left us with a feeling of great things to come.

Jack Mussallem and don Scott were both quality candidates and both are to be congratulated for fighting, honest, clean and respected campaigns.

They were clearly both well-intentioned and intelligent men with plenty of good ideas and the fact that local voters were divided so evenly in their support for both candidates shows that we voters found it to be a difficult choice.

Jack Mussallem will have his work cut out taking over from two-term mayor Herb Pond who decided he would not seek re-election.

Pond was tireless advocate for our community and was exceptionally well connected to Victoria, where one felt that he was not so much a person with whom our premier was acquainted as he was a friend of Gordon Campbell.

Such connections in our province's capital opened up a lot of doors and Pond's contribution to the many positive developments that have benefited our community - from the cruise ship presence, to the container port and the rapid growth in tourism - cannot be overstated.

But nevertheless, one cannot help but feel optimistic that Mussallem and his council will be equal to the task.

The two new faces on council Anna Ashley and Gina Garon - both called for more openness during their campaigns and voters will no doubt be excited at the prospect of being more involved in the decision-making process during the coming term.

The loss of Tony Briglio from city hall - who was unsettled by only a handful of votes - will be felt more acutely on the hospital board where he did terrific work on behalf of local voters in advancing our medical services and ensuring the replacement for Acropolis Manor was built.

We wish Tony Briglio, Herb Pond and Ken Cote, who also decided not to seek re-election to council, the best of luck for the future and thank them for their service to our city.

And we wish our new mayor and council all the best for the coming term - a time during which Prince Rupert could take huge steps forward.

It is highly likely that the new council will encourage more public input in its decision-making in the years ahead.

It is important that voters now step up to the plate and become involved when they are invited to do so. We asked for more input- let's not be found wanting.

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