Council contradicts itself

Letter writer concerned about decisions at Vernon city hall

When I read articles in The Morning Star about some of city council’s decisions on various matters, I am amazed.

In the Jan. 17 edition, the two stories in the first three pages contradict each other and, once again, demonstrate just how this council, like many before it, tends to contradict itself.

The first story on page A3 entitled “Fee Hikes and Service Cuts On Budget Agenda,” touches on potentials on both sides. Among the hikes are mostly smaller items that one might consider minor in nature, things like parking and parking fines.

These items are certainly not huge but fit into the “every little bit helps” category when needing more money.

However, they are things that every taxpayer, in one form or another pays for now, if not directly, then indirectly through general property tax.

The cutbacks include things like scrapping Communities In Bloom and the reduction of heritage grants.

Again, a little more significant for sure, but when one weighs them out against life’s necessities, it can be said that there is some good sense being used in these considerations.

Until you read the next story.

The next story on page A5, entitled “Green Light Given to Polson Greenway,” really makes one wonder where priorities are now.

So, you want to charge taxpayers more money for fewer services and/ or existing ones, while cutting some service programs altogether, so you can continue with a controversial and expensive greenway project?

If we are in a budget ‘crunch’ time, this can wait. Why? Because, what doesn’t make sense here is Rob Dickinson’s statement as to the reason for this greenway project in the first place.

His quoted statements of, “The 29th Street project is totally motivated by reducing traffic on 27th and 32nd streets,” and, “Some day we will have gridlock on 27th Street and the highway and do we wait until then?” seem somewhat idealistic and sensationalistic at best.

All 27th Street needs is better traffic light operations.

Firstly, if it’s a greenway project, you’re not going to reduce vehicle traffic by very much.

Vehicles will always travel because a large percentage of them are not carrying just one person, right?

Also, even the ones that are singly occupied, are in too much of a hurry and/or are carrying something that the driver would have to carry when out of the car whether for work or personal, and thus that driver will have many reasons to want to take the car instead.

This greenway would be for a select few but would not likely be a huge preventative for a gridlock situation as Mr. Dickinson indicates.

Besides, if you want its use to become a popular reality, you have to promote the use of the new alternate route very heavily as well as convincing the masses to change their main means of travel.

As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”, right?

Mr. Spiers is totally right.

While there may be some benefits to this, it is largely a cosmetic project.

To fix the traffic problem in terms of volume flow, we would have to go with the ‘one-way’ idea brought up a few times now over the last couple of decades. Look at it again.

There are many logistical changes involved sure, but it would be worth it and last for decades to come.

Put our money there.

 

Rory White

Vernon