There are two components to a good foundation:
Solid Ground - The key to any good foundation. To achieve solid ground we must have all the facts about our infrastructure and resources (natural, human, financial). Inventory is all important.
Build according to needs - What are our current and future needs and what can we afford? Everyone can speculate about the future but careful thought may prove we can draw more efficiently on our current resources when we take demographics, and technological/non-renewable resource-driven changes into consideration .
We must have these basics before we can proceed building our vision. This does not mean things will stop, the island or Council will not run...there's many things that can be attended to while we work on our foundation..
Example of a Bowen Sustainable Business.
WHY DID YOU MOVE TO BOWEN ISLAND?
Ask yourself this over and over, make a list, prioritize. Have your reasons for staying changed? Are you thinking of leaving, and why?
We have been rich in our diversity but that has eroded. Demographic change due to rising land prices has dictated this. I am not slagging wealth...don't ever get me wrong on that...money is energy and it's how you obtain and use it that counts.
But if you are monied and are forcing your demands on those who have less, is that the right thing to do? 'Old money' has principles. Part of those principles is looking after those less fortunate and ensuring quality of life. 'Old money' does this not just because it's a good thing to do, but because the benefits to them are a secondary. If your community is well and diverse, then you have a more able bodied workforce, loyalty and trust, and ensure the flavour that makes the richness of diversity is palletable for all.
If you think about the major religions, old money, no money, everything in between and the basic values of most cultures, it all boils down to human decency. Why is that decency missing? Why are we saying 'no' to the war in Iraq when we are forgetting to apply decency in our own community?
We are bending to a semi-private corporation, B.C. Ferries, some developers, and commuters. What about community as a whole?
Where are we without the arts? Where are we without the working class? Life is a circle and if you break that circle you are leaving a hole in your own existence. Create an hierarchy and you've imprisoned yourself, for if you exert power over another it leaves space over you for someone to exert power over you. Wouldn't you prefer freedom?
Keep community in mind, because that is what created the charm and character that may have enticed you to move here. It's the people of this community , from labourer to artist to Ph.D., to businessperson....the people from all walks of life who helped maintain slow growth, keep us as green as possible, started the school and other facilities, groups and organizations that help all of us to grow and live on a healthy, safe, island.
Sometimes a group that created something had a high school drop out with lots of organizational skills and good wisdom as president, while a professor who's hobby was graphics made up an information flyer for the group. Sometimes when you see a group of people selling raffle tickets for a good cause it consists of such varied backgrounds the people themselves laugh about it.
One of my favorite 'Bowen' stories is when a woman who used to dance with the National Ballet teamed up with a self-taught-motion gal to create a modern dance act. The formally trained woman learned freedom of movement and the free-motion woman learned structure. Best of all, a friendship was formed where they had fun.
Our community has always thought that the elder woman who bakes cookies for many fund raisers as equally important as the Ph.D. who does an extensive study for us on the environment. We do not measure your time by your earnings. That's what island living is.
So, why are you here, because if you are not supporting the endeavors that gel this island , that made it the place you wanted to live, or you are not participating, then we can do nothing for you and you can do nothing for us. If you are only living here because it's a good investment and you are speculating, that is fine...but don't put your needs and demands on others, that is not fair.
No one here has the authority to exert themselves over another to suit their own needs.