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New TNRD director ready to get to work

Ken Alexander’s column to the Free Press
Jim Smith is a longtime firefighter with the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department who has been elected the next Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area E director. (Ken Alexander photo)

South Green Lake resident Jim Smith defeated incumbent Sally Watson to capture the Area E chair at the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) board table.

Smith said he entered the race because he and, obviously many other Area E residents, thought it was time for a change.

Smith said he wasn’t surprised with the result.

“It was based on a lot of comments from residents. We felt the same way, but it was a very strong message out there that there needed to be a change.”

Meanwhile, there is very little time for the candidates who won to celebrate as they will have to attend an orientation meeting on Nov. 4 and the TNRD inaugural meeting, where the directors will be sworn in, is scheduled for Nov. 17. Smith said there is a second orientation meeting on Nov. 23 and the first regular TNRD meeting is on Nov. 24.

Smith noted he has had a lot of requests for “face-to-face meetings.”

He plans to schedule them, weather permitting, including town hall meetings at Pressy Lake, Loon Lake, the Clinton area, 70 Mile House and South Green Lake, which may be combined.

Smith added he would also be meeting with the High Bar and Canoe Creek First Nations.

“All of these are going to be fact-finding missions. I’m going to be asking a lot of questions and listening to what everybody is saying and [find out] what’s keeping them up at night

“I’m going to call on the directors who are left at the TNRD. I will be having meaningful dialogue with other directors to see what is working in their Areas.”

By January, Smith said he wants to start working on the highway speed through the 70 Mile House corridor.

The new Area E director added he will look for a hand off on the projects Watson had started on.

Watson said she offered Smith assistance on any questions he may have [on the Green Lake Facebook page], including information on any projects she had been working on.

In the meantime, Smith said he needs to educate himself on the workings of the TNRD.

For her part, Watson said she would like to work with local seniors.

“If I can find a grant, which is always challenging, I would like to tape video conversations with local seniors [to give to their families as a keepsake].”

Meanwhile, Watson said she will continue volunteering at 70 Mile Community Hall events and at the Seventy Mile Access Centre (SMAC) “as I have always done.”

Winter Eco Depot hours

Area residents will want to know the 70 Mile Eco Depot started its winter hours on Nov. 1.

The winter hours are in place until March 31.

The Eco Depot is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

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