City services aren't bad, but they shouldn't go backward

Two & Out
By James Peters
February 24, 2017 - 4:00pm

KAMLOOPS — We're not special, Kamloops.

Well, of course we are, but not when it comes to the constant cacophony of complaints about day-to-day maladies coming from the mouths of residents of the city.

Spend any amount of time in any other Canadian city and you will quickly realize that Kamloops drivers, for example, are no worse than the norm.

Everyone has a personal example that they believe gives them authority to declare Kamloops the worst driving city in Canada, but the actual statistics simply don't bear it out.

The same goes for annoyances caused by, or addressed by, city services.

Anywhere snow falls, people will complain about snow-clearing.

This year brought special challenges for the city, with a huge amount of snow falling in a short amount of time, then hardened into place by the ongoing freeze-thaw cycle.

And that freeze-thaw cycle then begins to wreak havoc on the roads themselves, causing them to crumble like so much coffee shop biscotti.

That leads to the hue and cry for city asphalt shovelers to be everywhere at once.

In reality, we get the service levels we pay for, and unless we are suddenly willing to live with a sizeable tax increase, these are the service levels we want.

But decreasing levels of service are another matter.

That's why it should be a concern that, with the switchover to Multi Material BC, our city's curbside recycling program won't take glass and film plastic starting this spring.

Now, we are receiving a chunk of change from MMBC for our recyclables, and some councillors say that money should be flipped back to residents by way of reduced bills.

Is reduced services in exchange for reduced bills a precedent the city wants to set?

If maintaining the current service is not in the cards, why not use that revenue to fund another recycling service, one that moves our city forward?

Green waste recycling would be a good option, taking our kitchen compostables and grass clippings.

That would result in fewer organic materials being buried in the landfill, wasting their potential benefits.

Holding the city's feet to the fire is a good and necessary pursuit, but it should be based on real data and facts, not anecdotal grumbling.

Adding green waste recycling might actually move Kamloops service levels ahead of other cities, meaning there would be even fewer reasons for Kamloops residents to complain about the services their city provides.

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