Opinion: Come out and support Rossland schools Dec. 18

Rossland city councillor Jill Spearn talks Rekindle, dog bylaws and the future of Rossland school meeting

Hello Rosslanders, I hope that everyone is enjoying the appearance and ambiance of our new downtown core!

As I write this message to the community, we will have enjoyed the ‘Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas’ celebration that kicks off the holiday season, the lighting of the giant, festive tree in Harry Lefevre Square and all of the wonderful shopping and yummy bake sales throughout the day.

You may also notice the new Christmas lights on the lamp posts that were replaced and updated.

As well, the public art on the banners is a welcome addition from our own local artists and adds another creative element to the City.

As we all know, many of our businesses had a tough go through the construction period, so I would encourage everyone to try and shop in town and enjoy a positive shopping experience!

A couple of City issues that we should be aware of is the consideration of dogs being allowed in downtown, if leashed and the prohibition of smoking in Harry Lefevre Square, our new gathering place.

Currently, the Bylaw prohibits dogs downtown, as well as in many other areas of the City.

The City has sent a survey to every box, put the survey on the website and council invites input at the Public Input Periods at regular council meetings (on any matter, in fact), so that all citizens have the opportunity to have a say. Please let us know how you feel on these issues!

One of the committees I sit on for council is the Neighbourhood of Learning Committee, (NoL) which, in essence, has a mandate to promote and retain Kindergarten through grade 12 in our community. The group, funded by the city, represents all Rosslanders and a sustainable future of education in town, overall.

The school board is looking at closing one of the two schools in Rossland and we need to understand all of the implications and the impacts of this pending decision. We have some very important meetings coming up in December and January so please make these a very high priority to attend. The information meeting, will provide people with the facts and figures needed to understand the background on this issue. It will be held on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the RSS Library. The second and most importantly, is the community meeting, facilitated by the school board, to hear what we have to say, as a community, on Jan.15 at 6:30 p.m. in the RSS gym.

As well, the School Board is accepting your written submissions, email or otherwise, about how you feel on this issue, by Jan. 4, 2013.

So, please get informed and attend meetings, and especially the Jan. 15 one at RSS. Regardless of whether you have children in school this decision about our school facilities affects everyone, both economically and socially. Let’s show a strong voice.

Additionally, last Monday, council approved an application for a rezoning to C2 (Commercial zoning) at the southwest entrance to the city. There was an interesting debate around the rezoning, as some felt it wasn’t appropriate for this site. After deliberation, the resolution was ‘carried’ allowing the owner to put a variety of business ventures on the land. This is a reminder, that all open council meetings are videotaped and are for your perusal on our website.

Lastly, I would like to send warm wishes to all for a very Merry Christmas season full of goodwill, family, friends and a serious dusting of snow!

 

Best regards,

Councillor Jill Spearn