Sunday, May 25, 2008

Writer’s cramp settles in on the North Coast

Canada Post has been a winner in the last five days as a number of Prince Rupert residents take pen and paper and send in their thoughts on the City of Prince Rupert’s free passes for civic workers announcement of last week.

Since council voted in favour of the project at the last council meeting, the Daily News has found that it’s a rather hot topic and one which has sent many a Rupertite off to express indignation with a letter to the editor.

With terms like dictatorship, rotten apples and favouritism, the tone of the letters is one of concern over city council’s drift and the citizenry's percolating anger over the perks packaging for city workers.

The week of responses is provided below…

Letter to the Editor
Prince Rupert Daily Mews
Friday May 16, 2008
Page 4


To the Editor:

I was forced to write this letter to the editor as soon as I read this issue which was voted on by our city council (City staff to get free access to recreation facilities, Daily News, May 15)

City staff are to get to use the recreation centre at no charge.

I read that the city has a committee trying to make life easier for people with disabilities, people who cannot afford the luxury of swimming or taking part in any form of activity.

Then, we have the seniors who have not much left to themselves, especially if they will be faced with 4 or 5 percent tax increase.

Do the city workers not make good money next to the person who is disabled, or the senior who trying to keep up the kind of life they once knew?

I believe that once again someone is confused as to who really needs help in this community. Please think this silly move over, members of city council. Consider the people whose hands you kissed and babies you shook to get your seats.

On one good day the city workers get a fairly good contract and on the other day you raise the tax of all homeowners young or old. If this will not be thought over by council then I ask people to let their words be heard now and again in November.

Give us a chance to get ahead of the game for once, you who we voted for
Should the recreational director explain where these ideas are coming from the community?
One concerned citizen of this community

Myles Moreau

Letter to the Editor
Prince Rupert Daily Mews
Friday May 16, 2008
Page 4


To the editor,

An open letter to mayor and council.

Regarding your decision to give free access to use the recreation facilties to city employees, it just plain stinks,

With the exception of Ken Cote, I think all your brains have dropped to your feet.

I stood by while you gave free passes to RCMP and firefighters, but this is just plain nonsense now to include city workers.

I am sure the RCMP, firefighters and city workers all make a very good wage to be able to afford the use of the facilities.

By the way didn’t city workers just get a three per cent raise?

It was not long ago that you talked about cutbacks on hours, staff, etc because it was not making enough to keep things going.

As for your reasoning, that it would keep WCB rates down, I’m quite sure those same people would not use the facility if they didn’t before.

And while we’re at it, there are a lot of working people out there that have children that are having a struggle to make ends meet that pay to use the facility and don’t make near what the RCMP, firefighters and city workers make, so let’s use some common sense and have everyone pay (user pay).

The only ones that should be exempt are seniors and supported documentation for health reasons.

This really looks like a rotten apple in my hand when I think my taxes are going up so that the city workers, RCMP and firefighters can have free access to the recreation department,

Thanks for letting me have my say.

Jenny Mclean

Letter to the Editor
Prince Rupert Daily Mews
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Page 4


To the Editor,

As a recently retired couple on limited income, we spend an average about $1,000 per year on the Earl Mah aquatic facilities. We do so in order to maintain a healthy level of physical fitness.

We have also contributed to the local economy through the payment of property taxes during the past 20 years.

We are appalled by the city’s recent decision to provide aquatic and other recreational services to its well-paid employees free of charge. Even more outrageous is the likelihood of the extra cost for these unnecessary perks being offset against the recent increase in property taxes.

Clearly, this situation is tantamount to an abuse of power. Unlike a dictatorship, where favouritism reigns supreme, this sort of thing is just not supposed to happen in a free and democratic Canada.

We only hope that those members of city council who voted in favour of this misguided high-handed decision will face reality, reconsider, and allow the principle of fairness to prevail.

Mike and Lynn Carr-Harris

Letter to the Editor
Prince Rupert Daily Mews
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Page 4


To the editor,

Our thanks to Ken Cote for being the only person to arrive at last week’s council meeting with his heart and his brain. We appreciate his attempts to stand up for the taxpayers of Prince Rupert.

It is just a few months since city council raised fees at the pool and only one short week since a 4 per cent increase was announced for city taxpayers and yet, last week, suddenly the city was rich enough to give all city employees free access to recreation facilities.

It wasn’t too long ago city council announced free use of recreation facilities for policemen and firefighters and there was a huge outcry from citizens against this idea and now once again, city council has chosen to ignore the people who voted them in.

Mayor Pond keeps telling us all about the financial woes of Prince Rupert and if that is truly the case, then we should be tightening our belts, spending less and looking for ways to increase revenue, not giving more away.

How do you ask taxpayers to pay more to use recreation facilities, pay more in taxes and then designate an “elite group” that doesn’t have to pay to use recreational facilities. What a slap in the face that is to all the taxpayers of Prince Rupert! As regular users of the pool, we feel that if anyone is given a break it should be seniors, people using the pool for therapeutic purposes and children whose parents could not afford to send them without help, not people working and earning a good way.

Yours Truly,

Judy Fraser
Judy Levelton
Edie Rothenberger
Tove McLean

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