A Christmas wish list for everyone

Community leaders get a chance to play Santa when picking a gift for their respective communities

For this year’s Christmas feature, the Trail Times asked local mayors and rural directors, “If you could ask Santa for one gift for your community, what would it be, and why?

There were no rules, but we did request the question be answered outside of, “a safe, healthy and happy holiday season for all.” That’s something we all wish for.

Ali Grieve, Area A Director for Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB):

“My home is the Beaver Valley. If Santa could bring our community a gift, I would ask him for additional “green space”: first, along the accessible portion of Beaver Creek at Creekside Park, where we could dabble our toes on a hot summer day, and second, for a park surrounding the Fruitvale Memorial Hall, that would also offer access to the Creek. I would ask for this because waterways and parks bind communities, while providing beautiful and soothing places for people to gather.”

Linda Worley, Area B Director and RDKB board vice-chair:

“It was really difficult to generalize for my community, when it consists of seven pocket communities and they are all so very diverse. However, I started to think about all those who are alone. So here is my wish for Lower Columbia/Old Glory; I would ask Santa to be sure that everyone has and practices the gift of compassion, to remind those who are so fortunate to have friends and family to enrich their lives, to take a moment to see who in their community that they know of who is alone at this time of year and throughout the New Year of 2016. To make a personal pledge to phone them or visit, even for a few minutes or on a regular basis to let them know that they are not forgotten, and that someone cares. A caring voice, a cup of tea can bring such pleasure to someone who is alone.”

Patricia Cecchini, Fruitvale mayor and RDKB director:

“If I could ask Santa for one gift for our community, it would be for a feast, with all the trimmings for the entire community, to be held on Christmas Day so that no one would be alone. I would also wish for Santa’s elves to do the dishes so everyone could visit and relax.”

Joe Danchuk, Montrose mayor and RDKB director:

“I’d like a big pot of gold for the residents of Montrose so we can do all the improvements that are required to keep our village infrastructure running for our residents.”

Mike Martin, Trail mayor and RDKB director:

“My wish for our community in 2016 is that we continue to build on the community spirit that we possess and that our many initiatives with a renewed Silver City Days, the new bridge and Library Museum become catalysts for building even stronger community pride. We hope to continue to work in harmony with our neighbours to build relationships that make our region stronger …. and that the Smokies have a winning season!”

Ted Pahl, Warfield mayor and RDKB director:

“Sure we have some needs, every community does. My first action, however, when responding to this question is to reflect on what I am grateful for about my community. We live in an awesome corner of the Kootenays, the snow has been falling and Warfield is beautiful this time of year. When I walk around the neighborhood streets people say hello to each other. When I drop my kids off at Webster I see a great school with dedicated staff and kids that love their school. I see a mix of young and old, we have families just starting out, folks planning and sending kids to college; and retirees settling in for some well-deserved rest, and maybe planning their next adventure with family and friends. This time of year as we gather with family and friends I encourage each of you to stop and reflect the one thing you are grateful for this season. As for Santa well I think he’s already been…Thanks Santa and Merry Christmas.

Grace McGregor, RDKB board chair and director for Area C/Christina Lake:

“Seniors’ housing for Christina Lake, that question was easy. More and more and more, we have more seniors. They are retiring here but also (residents) are getting older. We want to keep them here, we don’t want them going somewhere else. We want to keep them at Christina Lake, they are our friends, we like them and there’s a whole business built around seniors. We’ve been working on senior’s housing for the last seven years, and hopefully this year it will come to fruition.”

Stephen White, Salmo mayor:

“Another year of great progress by Salmo council and all the staff who work so hard on behalf of residents of the village.”

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