Monday, January 12, 2009

Politico's Snow Removal Email Broadcast Messages Infuriating (Snows Die-Hard Part 3of4)

From: Maureen French
To: Mayor and Council
Cc: ; Aldergrove Star; Langley Times
Sent: Sun Jan 11 23:33:33 2009
Subject: LACK OF 'Snow Removal'
Just a few points that I may not have sent to all of you.

If it's decided that property taxes need to be increased to cover the increase in snow removal, that's fine, as long as snow removal covers EVERYONE who's paying taxes for it. I've paid my snow removal taxes for 2008. The excess snow removal costs for 2008 should have been taken from an emergency/unplanned expense fund for the current year. Then determine if taxes need to be increased for future years.

A further, and most important, point: I think you guys are forgetting how many essential service workers live in these un-cleared subdivisions. People such as police, firefighters, air traffic controllers, doctors, paramedics, etc. If these workers can't get out to work, who will be there to do their jobs? I am one of these workers, so don't ever complain about any airport, or aircraft delays if you aren't clearing the street for us to get out.
Does the township of Langley not have any regard for the provincial emergency standard of 72 hours? Many Langley residents were left on their own for a lot longer than that! (Only Kim Richter has addressed this. The rest of you haven't even responded to it. Why?)

If people can't get out of their driveways or streets then it doesn't matter how much snow removal is done on the main roads. WE CAN'T GET OFF OUR OWN STREET'S TO GET TO THE MAIN ONES. If I can make it out of my subdivision without any snow removal done, then I can make it around Langley without the main streets done.

It is so frustrating to see the Mayor, and some of the councilors, sending mass reply emails that don't address the problem properly. I have heard so many different reasons and excuses from the Township for the lack of snow removal; all of which are pretty lame.

Reason 1 - Not in the budget. The situation this year was an extreme circumstance that should have received some emergency or special last minute funding. If my furnace breaks unexpectedly, replacing it probably isn't in my budget either, but it still has to get fixed ASAP.

Reason 2 - Not enough equipment or manpower. There are LOTS of private contractors that would have been delighted to be paid by the township to clear the side streets.

Reason 3 - The current policy doesn't cover the side streets. When it was apparent over the holidays that residents were upset about snow removal the mayor and council should have had an unscheduled meeting to address the problem, rather than continue with their holidays and deal with it a couple weeks later. The policy could, and should have been amended. It's pretty sad how mayor and council have been blaming the engineering department, and the engineering department has been blaming mayor and council. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. We shouldn't have to be sitting here writing emails about it after the fact, and fighting over how and who needs to fix the problem. It should have been dealt with 2 weeks ago, not now.

Maureen Pottinger
Snows Die-Hard Part 1of4
Snows Die-Hard Part 2of4
Snows Die-Hard Part 4of4

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