Once again the Crowsnest Pass makes headlines and once again it's for the wrong reasons. The turmoil surrounding the firing of the fire chief, the subsequent walk out by a majority of firefighters and the public protest that followed again reinforce our image in a negative light.
Responsibility for this falls squarely on municipal council.
Despite lip service to the contrary, this council's lack of communication to the public about what exactly they are trying to achieve and public consultation on how they are doing it is staggering. Their disdain for taxpayers and for spending their money was on track for a train wreck and that wreck is now.
It doesn't matter how many consultants are hired or how much time is spent on a strategic plan if the public doesn't buy into it. Without a majority of support, council can't continue to govern with a "Father Knows Best" attitude.
Rightly or wrongly, there is a pervasive belief among the public that council sees them as fools; too dumb or too unworthy to be told or trusted with the truth. Exclusion into decision-making has given them little reason to think otherwise.
Residents of the Crowsnest Pass are not fools and as now clearly seen, are not willing to sit idly by as elected officials dictate how things will be.
This is not about accepting change. This is about effectively listening to what people want, to changing those things that should be changed and leaving those that worked, alone.
The fire department worked.
Henry Ford said the secret to success is to understand the point of view of others. That's the starting point.