Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to Invermere and the valley.

It is my pleasure to publicly extend a heartfelt thank you to every single person who voted for me or supported my ideas and values through this election process.

Running for public office is an extremely rewarding experience and I enjoyed every minute of it. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to engage with literally hundreds of people to share ideas for the future of our great valley.

I feel incredibly grateful to live in a place where anyone who has a passion to effect change can do so and everyone who wants to be involved can engage themselves in the election process and freely vote. Never take this for granted!

As part of my campaign I committed to fighting for a number of initiatives like improving our ailing economic situation, first by giving proper credence to the massive benefits of visitor traffic, and then working to attract less seasonally-driven businesses that will complement our tourism industry.

I also think its important to improve our connection to our lake, backcountry, regional partners and each other.

We also need to promote growth in our culture through arts, athletics and recreation, by giving support to cultural venues, training facilities, building new trails and legitimizing existing ones.

I vow to you that I will actively continue to advocate for the things I committed to during my campaign, by increasing my involvement in a variety of community organizations.

Any candidate, elected or not, who stops fighting for the things they advocated for during the election process is not worthy of any of the votes they received.

Further to this, I am officially announcing my intention to run in the next election. I would like to publicly thank one of the new councillors for keeping my chair warm for me for the next three years!

My promise to everyone who supported me is that your vote was not wasted and I will work very hard to ensure I earn the respect and support of those who did not vote for me.

I regret nothing. I did not necessarily run for council solely to be elected but to speak with a voice loud enough to effect change. Now every one of us needs to keep the great community momentum going that was created by this very active election.

A community is a living entity continually in motion if we are not relentless in thoughtfully moving it forward, it will move backward.

We need to support meaningful and responsible progress. If we do not, by default we support decay. I am fully committed to getting my shoulder behind this community moving it forward in a positive way. I am just happy to know Im not alone!

Dave McGrath