Dear Editor:

Gerry Taft

The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce board of directors is right; we should all be working together to have a robust and thriving business environment, and to make this valley the best place that it can be for residents, property owners and visitors.

In order to make this area the best it can be, we have to look beyond the political lines on the map. It is the responsibility and obligation of local governments to look not just within their boundaries, but also to consider the overall regional picture especially if changes to that regional picture could threaten future cooperation from occurring.

I apologize if my October 17th letter to the Invermere Valley Echo offended anyone. Perhaps I was a little too imaginative in names for, and suggestions of future council members of, the proposed town in Jumbo.

I do not, however, apologize for being worried about the long-term impacts of an undemocratic local government within our region which would not be accountable to local residents, neighboring local governments, or even local businesses purported to be represented by the chamber of commerce.

Despite the critique from the chambers board, I will continue to be a strong advocate to maintain their current funding from the District of Invermere. I also believe the same relationship exists between local government and the province, you can sometimes raise concerns about specific policies or decisions, but at the end of the day our tax dollars should be distributed based on need and merit, not along political lines.

Hopefully the board will consider my offer to present at a future meeting about the positive work Invermere council is trying to do within our boundaries and on a regional basis, and how the chamber of commerce can be part of that work.

Gerry Taft

Mayor

District of Invermere