With all due respect to former Trail Historical Society president Jamie Forbes, I would like to add my two cents to this conversation.
I’ve been a member of this board for three years, sitting back and watching all this unfold.
You can blame council for wanting to “take over” the THS, the Library, the Riverfront Centre, Silver City Days and just about everything else, but really. Give your head a shake if you think all this can be run by volunteers.
Believe me, as someone who has spent the last 30 years or more working with volunteers, someone with authority has to take control. Volunteers are not always around when you want them to be. You just can’t mandate volunteers to do stuff the way you mandate paid staff.
We all have a “best-before” date and most of the volunteers in this town are way passed it. The only intelligent thing the city could do would be to take over the running of this facility to ensure its stability well into the future. Period.
If someone has a better idea – a way to create volunteers out of thin air, keep them involved and doing all the work that needs to be done – I’d like to hear it.
I, for one, do not want to run a facility. I’m retired. I have grandchildren, hobbies, a life. This is not about personalities or not respecting the amount of work that has gone into the various components of our city. Everyone knows Jamie Forbes has been the brains and brawn behind all things historical in Trail for the past 40 or more years. What he has created for and is leaving for the city is gigantic in scope and will be appreciated for generations to come.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to step on any rumours that the board forced Jamie to resign. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We were all gob-smacked when he decided to quit, and while we know there isn’t anyone out there likely to fill his shoes, we trudge on. Anyone thinking we are doing a lousy job or has some better ideas is more than welcome to come on board.
We as the Trail Historical Society board will still have plenty to do – managing the collection that still belongs to THS – not the city – and creating special exhibits.
As for council, there’s another election next year. If you don’t like what they are doing, vote them out. If you really don’t like it – then throw your own name in the hat, run for council yourself and work towards the changes you want to see.
But don’t deceive yourself. Running the city is a ton of work. I covered probably hundreds of council meetings during my time as a reporter, and I can tell you no one is in this for the money or the power.
They are ordinary people who believe in this city and want to do the best for the people who live here now and for future generations. And don’t tell me that they don’t represent everybody if 60 per cent of the population doesn’t vote. To not vote is to comply. Therefore, those 60 per cent (or whatever it is – look it up) must be quite happy with the way council is running – along with the majority of people who voted for them.
Certainly, I may not agree with everything council does. But I respect that they were elected to carry this city forward and responsibly look after the taxes collected by us ratepayers. I also respect the staff that work behind the scenes as they are the ones with the knowledge and education to advise council on matters that probably no ordinary citizen might know.
After living in Trail for most of my life, I see the current changes in this town as a breath of fresh air. For gosh sakes, people, we’ve finally got some progress happening here. This is the time to support the changes, not stifle them.