Monday, February 8, 2010

The shovels are coming out tonight

The marathon scheduled for tonight's council meeting will test the mettle of the most enduring political athlete. It would appear that 30 good citizens want to share their views with council on one topic - snow removal. With each speaker having five minutes to expound on their solutions to the problem, add in the Mayor's introduction and instruction, the amble down to the podium by the speaker, my guess would be 3 1/2 hours on this topic alone. Each speaker will deliver the same message. In the first hour or so a councillor or two will pop up with some platitude or word of empathy just to prove they are listening and getting the message. And as time and nerves wear on, everyone quits listening and shuts down. I think I would rather watch a rerun of CSI.

Calgary council ordered an audit of their snow removal. Atch thinks its premature to call for an audit of Saskatoon's program. He states audit it means intensive scrutiny and we just need a review. And a tax increase. And Neault is sure that dumping more money into the program will fix it. Administration wants to hire more people so it can properly ticket and tow motorists. Hill's game for contracting out snow removal. Yes folks. The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

This is why I like local politics so much. Everyone participates. Its reality TV, funny home videos and a local talent show all wrapped into one. Best way to watch it is to record it and fast forward to the best parts.

So the snow shovels will be out tonight but it won't be snow that being shovelled.


  1. So you think its ridiculous that residents want to come and give their opinions to city council? You talk about how city councillors tune out their constituents, apparently from your own experience? You think that potentially contracting out some snow removal is a 'lunatic' idea? No wonder you are no longer sitting in that council chamber, Elaine.

  2. Firstly, I stand corrected. Thirty more people have written to council but not all have asked to speak. My point is on any contentious issue when large numbers of people line up to state the same message they lose the ear of the audience as a result of the repetition. It would appear from the comments in the SP that a few councillors have alternatives to an audit, all of which have already been tried and to no avail.

    And yes I, and many of my colleagues of the day, grew weary of the long line of GIG speakers hurling insults and repeating themselves to the point of exhaustion. I consider myself blessed not having to re-live the experience.

  3. Although I don't agree they are all lunatics they certainly are still in the middle of a blizzard and can't make their way down the road clearly. An audit is the only way to move forward. This department has not evolved with the size of our city. An audit may shed some light on where the money that should have stayed in snow removal went. Oh wait we know council keeps robbing the reserve.

    As for all those speaking to the issue I don't believe there will be many as the letters will most likely be just received for information. Besides these people are still probably shoveling off their residential street so they can get to work on time.

    I will say I am glad our area hasn't changed to individual garbage containers I would hate to think how many people can't get those things to the curb.

  4. "And yes I, and many of my colleagues of the day, grew weary of the long line of GIG speakers hurling insults and repeating themselves to the point of exhaustion. I consider myself blessed not having to re-live the experience."

    Perhaps if you and your colleagues of the day had better balanced the concerns of your constituents, Saskatoon wouldn't have ended up with a riverfront development that is three times over-budget, unable to attact a legitimate private-sector tenant, and in its spectacular economic failure is now necessitating the $56 million destruction of Fred Mendel's legacy gift to Saskatoon and its art community.

    Your constituents are not your adversaries. The elected official is there to listen to their concerns and serve them in a participatory democracy.

  5. Please let's not rehash the debate on that old dump (aka GIG). Deciding to tear it down and managing the development of the site are two entirely different ideas. I think what the Mistress is trying to say is that tonight's council is nothing more a waste of everyone's time. Having person after person coming to the microphone to bitch and complain about the same thing is useless. Why not save the 3 hours and sum it up in two minutes... "Snow removal in this city sucks, the people are upset, many neighborhoods are struggling"

    It doesn't take a parade of citizens to convey this, and I think after the second speech it will be repetitive. The only positive is the 'needy' people who gain some sort of self satisfaction from voicing their complaints will be appeased tonight. Good luck with all of that council, hopefully "Lunatic Lenore" hasn't shoveled her way out yet.

    As for the Mistress' views, as much as 'parade of idiots' tonight is a waste of council time the city does need to discuss this issue while exploring all viable alternatives. Even the ludicrous ones.

    On a side note, did you notice Darren Hill justifying the outrageous new landfill fews, clearly this is a money grab. I for one will take the easy route, no more trips to the dump everything can now go in my back alley garbage bin. Love how this city gouges the people being proactive above all else. Council spent up a storm and now is looking to hang the bill on the citizens in any every way possible. Conserve water, oh wait we are losing income if you do that so we'll increase the rates, now increasing landfill charges that are designed at attacking only the small loads, individual citizens?

    I for one hope no member of this council returns, shame on them.


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