Snow clearing complaints all about wanting more for less

Two & Out
By James Peters
January 8, 2016 - 3:25pm

KAMLOOPS — It seems for every solitary snowflake that has fallen in Kamloops this winter, there has been a corresponding complaint about the City of Kamloops snow clearing operations.

The prevalent theme is that plows aren't getting to side streets fast enough, there aren't enough of them out there, and not enough traction material is being applied. 

In other words, give us more, City of Kamloops, we want more. 

There certainly may be valid criticisms of the city's practices, how it carries out its snow clearing strategy every year.

But if what taxpayers want is more, more, more, then they only need look in the mirror. 

I remember well a soliloquy by former Councillor John O'Fee many years ago now, arguing the city can do anything it wants, as long as it is comfortable charging it to the taxpayer. 

That's the limit. 

And that's where the rubber meets the road for council.

For many years, council tried to keep rate increases roughly in line with the rate of inflation. 

That means every year, the city can afford to pay for increases to negotiated contracts of its staff, and not much more. 

Increasing service levels for snow clearing to any significant degree would cost a lot of money, and council feels that's not what taxpayers want their money to go toward. 

If you have a problem with how much snow clearing is done, call your city councillor and tell her or him that you don't mind spending more for it.

I frankly don't blame council. 

The amount of snow we see on Kamloops streets is not out of line at all.

If you would rather not drive in some snow, then you'll pay for it - either with your taxes, or with the hikes in cost of living and commute times that come when you move to Vancouver.