Wednesday, April 9, 1997
Dick Peplow will be missed
Of all the aldermen to resign from city council, it's unfortunate it has to be Dick Peplow.
That is not to diminish the integrity and dedication of the remaining councillors but in terms of politics, they are all very much alike.
Peplow always presented a different opinion, one shared by many people in the city. Not only was he one of the few candidates in the last election to campaign on fiscal restraint, he was quicker than most to question city administration.
He fumed over the City Centre fiasco that cost the city dearly when it shouldn't have. He publicly doubted the wisdom of the Niven Lake development. He raked the burgeoning bylaw department over the coals.
Peplow was also the only alderman to question in any way the propriety of the city's finance director owing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and lease payments through the Tuaro Dairy.
Probably Peplow's greatest service was his stand on the secret briefings with council and administration. That's where most of these lousy deals were discussed and put through.
Always quick to admit he was not a rocket scientist, Peplow insisted public discussion was essential on complicated issues where taxpayers' money was involved. How else could the information city administration provided be tested?
If Peplow's fellow aldermen don't miss him, many ratepayers will.
The question is: Who on council will take up the cause of administration accountability and fiscal responsibility?
Almost 400 Yellowknife adults have offered to sacrifice a couple of working days and a few grams of bone marrow in hopes of saving someone's life. They turned out Sunday to join the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry.
They were lured by a tale of desperation. One of our own, Travis Arychuk, needs a marrow transplant. Although there is virtually no chance of finding a suitable unrelated donor in the city to help Travis, and it turns out his father's marrow might do, the city can take pride in attracting so many selfless residents.
The registry needs as many willing donors as possible, and Yellowknifers have proved they are as willing as they come.
Imagine moving to the city where streets are paved with gold, looking for a diamond-studded opportunity at the nation's first diamond mine.
Now imagine travelling thousands of kilometres on your last few dollars to get here, only to find no work at all.
The Salvation Army says it's happening all the time. What can we do about it?
If we are to continue marketing the city as a viable alternative to southern living, we must build a social support network to ensure people aren't living -- and dying -- their dreams shattered, in their cars, parked on the side of the road with no where to go and no money to get them there, anyway.