In defence of the city
I have a few thoughts regarding Paul Kelly`s opinion column, “If you think in terms of pennies, you get pennies.” (June 23, 2017)
Being as brief as I can, your Saturday morning parking ticket is obviously a sore spot. You don`t want to hear the “…malarkey about enforcement, revenues or the law.” You have no time for it! The officer was just doing his/her job. He/she also doesn’t have time to discern who is who or what the circumstances are at a particular problem.
I might suggest as you alluded to becoming an administrator for the City of Pembroke in the future, you make time for enforcement, the law, and especially revenues. These are very big parts of the job.
As for your support of the businesses in the downtown core, I applaud your enthusiasm, but I think that your method is misplaced. Before you reach into your own pocket for anything as a city official, be sure that you have read the “Municipalities Act” very carefully. It is an interesting read.
You also cited, that as a city administrator, you would set up a charitable foundation for the eradication of the parking meters in the downtown core. You would hire an executive director to raise money to achieve this result as well as finance “Free Parking ” in the downtown core. Why are you waiting until you become an elected official? Why can’t you start the ball rolling as a concerned city citizen?
Better yet, why don’t you take some time and see someone at the Pembroke Business Improvement Association (PBIA) and ask some questions about your ideas? Possibly, you could offer some of your time to help get your ideas up and running? Yet, you talk of hiring another executive and running up another salary. (Apparently, you are upset about that also.)
You also said that you have all of the costing information regarding the “Walmart fountain?” That’s nice. To make a long story short, it was a “taxpayer outcry” towards the last administration that demanded that the “city fountain” at Coronation Park become operational. I applaud the city’s action, at the time, the collection and distribution dept. (water dept.), and the parks and recreation dept. for getting a difficult task completed, in the time that was allotted. You see, Mr. Kelly, you sometimes have to facilitate the taxpayer, even when you personally don’t agree with the subject matter or trying to justify costing.
I agree with you that the skateboard park is a great addition to the downtown, especially when it is in use by skateboarders, scooters and the occasional wheeled office chair or two. Reading your “one-sided” opinion from the gentleman who put this project together, saying that he would have thanked the city but the city didn’t do a damn thing for him, I have to disagree. The city has assumed the liability for the park, as well as furnished two picnic tables, and a garbage can, for its users’ use. Also, there were many issues behind the scenes, before, during, and after its construction, that would have prevented any other constructor/person from even beginning or finishing this project.
If you pursue a position on our great city’s administration, I would hope that you might ask questions on both sides of an issue, before you make a public opinion/statement demeaning one side or the other.
Fred Jennings President CUPE Local 24