Fringe fire spat reminds me of a song

The local fire protection fuss reminds me of a song from my childhood.

The local fire protection fuss reminds me of a song from my childhood  that went “I don’t want to play in your yard, I don’t like you any more; you’ll be sorry when you see me sliding down my cellar door” … or starting my own fire department.

The City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District have had rows before but this is the first time, I believe, that either went to court. Most spats have concerned who pays for what, but relations have been amicable for some years now as the two governments reached cost-sharing agreements in several areas.

This one came as a surprise, and it happened so quickly. City councillors have to keep an eye on finances — that’s their job — but their timing and communications on this issue suck. CRD Chair Richmond has been in the media explaining the district’s side of the story but the city’s news releases haven’t really gotten to the meat of the matter and even some of us townies are confused.

It’s too bad Mayor Cook didn’t go to the CRD’s public meeting last week to explain the city’s position. She is, after all, Williams Lake’s director on the CRD.

The Cariboo has changed a lot since regional districts came into being in 1969. Maybe we need a different system.

Two tries to form a district municipality failed (fringe areas balked) so what about trying something else, like three separate districts — north, middle and south — with one government for each district, no separate city or town status and directors elected at large.

I’m not sure where the Chilcotin would fit. Or, maybe Williams Lake could split up and join areas D, E and F.

Some area D, E, and F residents don’t want to play in our yard. As a city resident/taxpayer for 43 years, I’m a bit embarrassed.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.