EDITORIAL: Chickens and Eggs
Last week in this space we proposed the existence of two Rosslands, each existing in its own alternate universe: Real Rossland and Dream Rossland. This week we find evidence that City Council may be inhabitants of the former. By declining to adopt bylaw #2453, council made a decision that reflected the realities of life in the Mountain Kingdom, as lived by actual Rosslanders. Huzzah!
In a Dream Rossland, the high mantra of ‘cost recovery’ dictates that every use of the Miners’ Hall pays its way–and, lo and behold, it does! In Dream Rossland, there is a bottomless pool of deep-pocketed facility users and they line up ten abreast outside the Hall, wads of cash gripped tight in their rugged mountain lifestyle hands while the city rakes in the money and fills its coffers to the brim. We admit this doesn’t sound half bad. No doubt, Dream Rossland is a seductive little place. Who wouldn’t want to see the old Hall turn a tidy profit, after all? But it doesn’t. And it may never.
In Real Rossland, instead of this throng of Mountain Adventure Lifestyle users, we have the potter’s guild, the Follies, and Ilo’s Playschool, all three of which would have been negatively impacted, or even destroyed, by the fee hikes (how’s that for an Adventure Lifestyle word!) contained in the bylaw.
By pulling back from the precipice, city council has sent a message to Rosslanders that they are willing to put people first and dollars second. Bad for development and ‘growth’ (a word that always sounds slightly cancerous to us…)? We think not.
By making decisions that promote the livability of Rossland, council will make Rossland a more desirable place to live–which will help the economy. By raising fees and chasing core elements of the Golden City out of town, they would have made Rossland a much less desirable place to live. A few more dollars might have been snatched from the hands of young couples hoping to have their wedding receptions at the Hall, but the net result would have been contraction.
And so, for acting as representatives of the people of Rossland and not just its bank account or cost recovery aspirations, we say ‘thank you, City Council’.