Snowmageddon III: Saying NO to O.T.

Post by Mike Klassen in

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Vancouver Snow Plow

Running a website has its share of responsibilities, including trying not to deliberately mislead your readers. This is why anonymous comments are a challenge. They can be a useful way to exchange information. But the risk is that this information is not completely accurate.

We discussed here whether to post the comment from "Jim" who claims to have inside knowledge of how the City of Vancouver has limited snowplowing services, which has resulted in transportation coming to a crawl on most residential streets across town:

- workers were called in, given cash to take time off, COV managers did not want to pay overtime to have the plows running 24/7.
- of the approx 80 trucks that can be fitted with plows and salt spreaders, only 17 were deployed the entire snow duration. Operators were told to NOT plow side streets, as there was no money budgeted for detailed plowing.
"do as little as possible" they were told.
- as soon as the snow stopped and the rain started, ALL the plows were pulled off the road by the managers.

The black ice we described last night resulted in dozens of MVAs according to this morning's CKNW radio reports, and the salting trucks were in short supply. By 9pm several major thoroughfares in Vancouver's East side had not received a grain of salt.

So we ask, is the City of Vancouver deliberately holding back on snow removal and road safety measures for budgetary reasons?

As we've posted already on CityCaucus.com, Vancouver City Council has already spent a huge amount of taxpayer dollars on avoidable costs like holding a lavish inauguration ceremony at Sunset Community Centre, and paying hundreds of thousands in severance to Judy Rogers, the city's respected former City Manager. This is money we could be using to clear our streets.

With the budget surplus left by the last City Council drying up fast, has someone in management pushed the pause button on critical services? If there is anything taxpayers don't like, it's when their dollars aren't put to work for basic services like keeping roads clear of snow and ice.

It's got back to us that Mayor Gregor Robertson is in Mexico this week enjoying sun and warmth. The holiday is fine, but as the mayor he should at least pick up the phone -- there must be one at poolside -- and let Vancouverites know how the city will deal with this problem. Back here in Snowville there hasn't been a city services update from the City's communications department in six days! Garbage in many neighbourhoods hasn't been picked up since mid-December, and there is no indications when it will be picked up again.

If the strategy is to wait for the snow to melt, there are going to be more than a few p.o.'d parents on Monday morning. They'll be navigating those nasty side streets, and the snow and ice ain't likely to be gone by then.

We ask again...where is the leadership?

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