Perhaps with a little Sarah Vaughan on a CD playing in the background, Prince Rupert Mayor Herb Pond responded to the ongoing debate surrounding Prince Rupert’s Fire Department and the city’s plans for it.
The Mayor wrote a letter to the editor in Friday’s edition of the Daily News, taking to the task the union representative (and if we read between the lines perhaps the paper as well).
Referring to the union rep as ”Surrey’s Mr. West”, the Mayor reflected on the comments of that out of town union rep in a recent front page story in the Daily News, and examined the “tone and tenor” of the comments in the story, which has seemingly sent the Mayor to the writing table.
Suggesting that the city is still involved in a dialogue with its local firefighters, he provided his own take on some of the issues raised in that article. The mayor stated that the city would work on these issues away from the media, instead it seems by moving his thoughts through the self penned channel of the editorial pages, found four pages from the headlines.
It calls to mind similar interventions into the editorial pages by former long time Mayor Peter Lester, the late mayor frequently would fire off his own colourful pieces of prose for the letters page, tackling some of the thorny issues of the day (and a few other items that found his fancy).
Perhaps in addition to a chain of office, he left his style guidebook in the upper right hand drawer of the Mayors desk, for future holders of the office to make their submissions.
The Mayor’s thoughts can be found below, direct from their home on page four of the Friday edition of the Daily News.
OUR CITY IS VERY WELL PROTECTED
To The Editor,
Prince Rupert residents need to know that, in spite of the headlines, the city’s management team is working co-operatively, respectfully and out of the media, with local firefighters to deliver superior fire-protection at a price taxpayers can sustain.
The tone and tenor of the comments by Surrey’s Mr. West (Firefighters turn up the heat on city over volunteers, Daily News, Oct 4) betray the respect of the local dialogue, and his characterization of what’s happening in Maple Ridge, Langley and Surrey is misleading.
Yes, those communities are moving to more full-time firefighters, but they have also been bursting at the seams for years. Interestingly, Mr. West doesn’t mention that until very recently Maple Ridge (four times our size) had only six full-time firefighters supported by 80 on-calls; or that Langley (six times our size), had just 11 full-timers with 160 on call; or that his own department Surrey (Canada’s largest municipality), is nearly 50% on-call firefighters.
Prince Rupert has a great group of firefighters – 20 well-equipped, highly trained full-time professionals who constantly demonstrate dedication to their craft. And like almost every other community in the province, we are augmenting our core with motivated well-trained on-call firefighters.
We’ve got excellent fire protection – better than any community our size.
We’re going to keep it that way.
Mayor Herb Pond