Council should put up the money for veterans’ signs now

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
June 12, 2018 - 5:00am Updated: June 12, 2018 - 11:10am

I THINK Kamloops City council should stop being so cheap and put up a few thousand dollars to honour our war veterans on street signs.

A few months ago, the Heritage Commission came up with the idea of adding poppies to street signs named for Kamloops soldiers who died in war.

The City turned them down. They’re OK with replacing the signs with new ones, just as long as it doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything. And the commission was reminded that it’s just there to offer advice, not to take action.

The estimate for the Heritage Commission’s proposal was $8,400. That would have been enough to do the 51 signs that currently carry the names of dead World War I vets.

In the long term, the idea was to place signs for all 282 of the vets from both world wars who died for our country. Rather than renaming any current signs, it would mean waiting for new streets to be built.

But the tightwad council wouldn’t even go for those first 51. It decided the poppy signs will go up as the current ones need replacing, which means a wait of five or six years.

Taxpayers appreciate it when politicians are frugal, but in a budget of millions of dollars, one would think the council could have found $8,400. After all, it’s not as if the commission was asking for a parking study.

It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if streets like Vicars and Clapperton and Soldier included visual recognition of the sacrifices made on our behalf? If, as the heritage group says, those names were more than a list on the Cenotaph?

Meanwhile, members of the heritage commission are raising money for the signs on their own and apparently aren’t doing too badly in that regard.

The council should be embarrassed about that, and at least offer to put up the remainder of what needs to be raised so the job can be done now rather than later.