Tyson’s Thoughts is a weekly column posted online at northislandgazette.com every Thursday and in print the following Wednesday.

Tyson’s Thoughts: Port McNeill columnist needed

I’m looking for a freelancer who wants to cover local politics/news stories in the area.

Are there any writers in Port McNeill?

I’m looking for a person who wants to cover local politics/news stories in the area, similar to what Thomas Kervin does with ‘Kervin’s Corner’.

I think having a local mud raker in Port McNeill would be a wonderful addition to the North Island Gazette, as we currently don’t have any freelancers there.

Do you know what’s going on in your community and want to help make residents more aware?

Do you enjoy writing?

Do you have a camera that takes good quality pictures?

Send a writing sample to editor@northislandgazette.com and we can make something happen.

I want someone who is willing to dig deep to uncover the dirt, snap photos of all the interesting stuff going on in town, and I want someone who isn’t afraid to state their opinions in public, much like Thomas Kervin does bi-weekly.

This is a huge opportunity for Port McNeill to have its very own columnist, and I for one would love to see it happen.

With that out of the way, let’s talk Port McNeill Council.

I attended the town’s public consultation regarding its five-year plan, and wow, there were a lot of great questions from concerned residents.

Port McNeill’s council chamber is constantly filled every meeting with residents who want answers, whereas Port Hardy rarely has anyone show up.

Do Port McNeill residents just care way more about the decisions their town makes than Port Hardy residents do?

Seems that way to me.

Why is that?

Well, I don’t live in Port McNeill, but if I were to hazard a guess, I would say they have a stronger sense of community than Port Hardy does, which ultimately leads to more residents showing up when they’re upset/concerned about decisions being made.

I have to give Port McNeill Council credit, they are generally pretty good about holding public consultations whenever something big is being discussed.

They held public consultations over the harbour rates being raised, and for the future of the Old School House.

Both meetings were an hour long, well organized and advertised, and really helped give council a good idea of what the residents were looking for with regards to both issues. I know Hyde Creek residents were upset with the harbour rates, but the public meeting showed Port McNeill residents wanted a better deal, as their taxes pay for the harbour.

On the otherside of the coin, Port Hardy recently held a meeting for the rezoning of the old Gazette building to become an emergency shelter for the Salvation Army.

No one showed up and the meeting lasted 15 minutes. What’s even more hilarious is when we ran articles about the rezoning, numerous people posted their opinions on Facebook, yet none had the guts to show up in person and say the same things in person.

One thing I’ve learned from working at the Gazette is Port McNeill residents definitely aren’t afraid to state their opinion face to face with local government.

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