While I am not new to politics, 9 years on the Board of Education and just coming to the end of my first term on council, I am new to the technology that has become essential tools of the trade, such as this blog. I have to admit up front that I was somewhat reluctant to include a blog on my website. After all, I am out and about in the community, readily available to take calls, answer emails, and I enjoy the traditional face to face exchange that my age group grew up with. Somehow, I felt that sitting in front of a computer writing to the masses in cyberspace (okay, okay, maybe optimistic), felt very impersonal. However, one read of an online article, written by one of our local reporters, has turned me on to the world of blogging. Let me share with you why I am hoping blogging will be my new found love, at least in the realm of technology, and how it may assist in getting the rest of the story, when reporters are bent on keeping it to them.
Last week I attended a meeting hosted by our local Chamber, which featured a presentation by Translink officials. I had compiled three questions to ask Translink’s CAO, Ian Jarvis, and had the opportunity to ask all three. The first two were one’s I had composed: 1) has Translink given consideration to the potential increase of commuters trying to avoid tolls by way of the Abbotsford/Mission bridge and the impact this may have on the east/west corridors through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows?; and 2) has Translink put any effort into reducing capital project costs through project coordination with other government jurisdictions? My third question was sent to me by a citizen, which I said I would ask. It was: Has Translink given consideration to including washrooms in the proposed station upgrades?
Now, don’t get me wrong, washrooms are important for the aging commuter population and I was happy to ask and was even more pleased that the answer given by Mr. Jarvis was yes. However, knowing the traffic flow issues within our community, as I do, and the challenges of the costs associated with Translink’s “Moving Forward” Supplemental Plan, it amazed me that the washroom question was what was attributed to me in the online article.
Based on the article, the serious issues were discussed by the bureaucrats, but the politician wants to know about toilets. Thus, my blogging career has begun. By the way, the answer to both of my questions by Mr. Jarvis was no.