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Taking responsibility seriously

Although my name did not disappear from the pages of the Star and Times for the past couple weeks, my presence was considerably more sparse from the office as I?took my first extended holiday in more than two years. I spent some time in Dauphin while my wife and ace reporter Jessica delivered a baby boy in the late hours of June 12. (Official announcement available in this week’s pages.)

This is our first child, and it’s an experience that is really hard to describe unless you’ve been there yourself. We both find it incredible how we were able to bring a brand new, never-before-seen human being into this world. He’s a person that is impossible not to love.

However, I?am fully aware that I?now have an incredible responsibility upon my shoulders. While it may take a village to raise a child, Jessica and I are the primary caregivers for this tiny human. We are the first ones responsible for meeting his needs and making sure that he becomes a responsible adult himself.

I have a T-shirt that I?purchased when we found out that Jessica was pregnant. It has a picture of Spider-man and says “The Amazing Dad: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”. It’s a phrase that has become ubiquitous and cliche since the first Spider-man blockbuster was released in 2002, but it really does speak truth. While I?may own the T-shirt, it doesn’t automatically make me a great father. I?feel like it is a title that is difficult to earn, but easy to lose, and it must be taken seriously.

It’s a phrase that I am always considering when I?am at work as well. I produce content that is read by thousands each week. My words and pictures are meant to be an accurate reflection of the goings-on in this community and, if I am accused of misrepresenting an event or a comment (as I make mistakes too), I take that criticism seriously.

This phrase also makes me think about some of the leaders in our valley. Many organizations and committees have great leadership and helps push our community to be better, even if we are disadvantaged by population or services. If we have the power to make our town and region better, than we have the responsibility to do so.

Some of our leaders have more power than others. Municipal leaders have the power to make decisions that affect our finances, properties, and infrastructure. I have witnessed many controversial and significant decisions being made during my time covering municipal council meetings. While I don’t always agree with the decisions made, most of the time, I can follow the logic of why those decisions were made.

The Municipality of Swan Valley West has an important by-election coming up that will decide who will direct council from the reeve’s chair. No matter which way the voters cast their ballots, the new reeve and council need to seriously look at the decisions they make and consider if it is the best choice for the ratepayers of today and the ratepayers of tomorrow. They need to take politics and any personal agendas out of the equation and really consider how you can work together to make your municipality and the greater Valley the best that it can be.

To any council members that may be reading these words: You have a lot of power, so please be responsible with it.

Jeremy Bergen