I was still in single digits age-wise when the Beatles hit North America 50 years ago on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Those of us from ancient times will recall the famous Sunday night variety show hosted by Ed Sullivan.
He was a man not exactly blessed with charisma: his on-air demeanour on his best day was blandness mixed with an overwhelming sense that he was completely unsuited to his TV host job.
Ed always seemed like a severely introverted network bookkeeper who was forced to take the job because 23 other CBS guys called in sick that day and he was their last hope — every week.
I received my January city utility bill and discovered an error in the bill: they had billed me for four weeks of garbage/blue box services even though two weeks during the billing cycle, neither service was provided to me.
The current winter conditions and sketchy snow removal plan meant the contractors for these two services were unable to fulfil their obligation to pick up garbage and old newspapers in my area.
Fair enough, I thought. I will notify the people at Red Deer City Hall about the oversight on my bill, so I emailed them via their Questions section on my bill. On Monday, Feb. 3, I figured out the difference of around $8.40 to my bill, when I factored in the two weeks when services were not provided, and informed the city about my plan to deduct this amount from my January utility payment. No response was provided to my email, so I sent another one on Tuesday, complete with a forward of my Monday email.
I received no response from either email, so I phoned the city on Wednesday to inform them I was not going to pay for two weeks of non-service on my utility bill. This was the precise moment when things got more complicated because a utility bill is not under one City Hall umbrella when customers have an issue with a bill.
We have a winter where cold weather has become a hot-button issue. This year’s generous supply of snow has been the centre of attention for two months and we are a long way from the clubhouse turn on the winter season here in Red Deer.
The big question for people in this city is snow removal and the answer has not been provided by the City of Red Deer.
We have endured long, cold and snowy winters before in Red Deer — most of my youthful years in this area fall into this category — but the snow removal problem has never been properly addressed over the years.
I can remember the ugly winter of 1973-74, when I seemed to get stuck just about everywhere I drove in this city, up to and including 32nd Street.