Old Massett’s new chief councillor promises common-sense approach

  • Dec. 12, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Ken Rea, elected chief councillor in Old Massett Dec. 5, is promising a common-sense approach in the two years of his term. (There’s) no way council can manage big, tangible changes,” Mr. Rea told the Observer Monday. “INAC (Indian and Northern Affairs) gives us one cup full of water and they expect 10 people to wash themselves out of that.” Mr. Rea said the village needs to “invest in ourselves more” and said “we are actively shopping for a few resources to add value.” “They are not great, fantastic moves, they are very common-sense moves,” Mr. Rea said. We should “make a common sense decision right on the spot or provide a process to get to that position”.He suggested, for example, that the community is losing revenue because it doesn’t have a hotel, and a lot of consultants’ money is going elsewhere because of that. “We need to foster an environment where our own people can invest in infrastructure,” he said. Mr. Rea also said he’s interested in more than commercial ventures. He wants to sit down with the school board and discuss the fact that there are several certified teachers in his community who are not working. “The tired old excuses are getting tired,” he said. Mr. Rea has served two terms as councillor before being elected for the coming two years as chief councillor. He called the election process “fairly unnerving, putting yourself out there like that” and said running against “a seasoned veteran like Judy (Williams) is not easy.” “But I was happy as well” with the win, he said. The new council held its first meeting Monday, setting up committees and preparing for the coming two years.

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