This is an open letter to all members of Red Deer city council.
The main thrust is to try to gain understanding of our current snow removal policies.
Some homeowners receive preferential treatment over others: If you live on a bus route, cul-de-sac or main road, you get no windrows or blocked driveways.
If you live anywhere else, too bad. Even though you pay the same amount of taxes, you have to suffer through lack of parking, poor access to your own driveway and reclearing of the sidewalks that you have struggled to keep clean all winter long.
You have to pay a third party snow remover so you can drive in your own driveway (which you pay higher taxes because you have one).
I thought one of the city’s responsibilities is keep our roads safe to drive on. Since when are private citizens required to pay cash out of their own pockets to remove snow off city streets?
If you don’t want to or can’t afford to (seniors), or are physically unable to remove these heavy chunks of ice that are intentionally put there by workers under city direction, too bad.
Is this not slave labour? How can the city impose itself upon you in this matter? The Charter of Rights and Freedoms would disagree with city policies.
I would suggest that every citizen who has had to shovel out or hire someone to clear their driveway should be able to withhold a portion of their property taxes to remunerate themselves for this task that is imposed upon us.
That won’t work? Then perhaps all our hard-working city councillors should load up several vehicles with yourselves, the planning commission people and the city managers who are responsible for this policy, with a bunch of shovels and you can clear our driveways off.
We have been told that we can’t afford to remove all the snow from our streets, although many similar-sized communities seem to be able to accomplish this with smaller budgets.
Let me see … hmmm … let’s save hundreds of thousands/millions of tax dollars by not wasting taxpayers’ money on expensive propaganda trying to convince us this is the only way (colour brochures, fridge magnets, new signage. etc.).
How much did that cost — or useless bike lanes and signage that virtually no one uses, or expensive billboards, thanking us for being patient when roads, water and sewer are been rebuilt or repaired, the list goes on and on and on?
It is time for our elected officials to show some intestinal fortitude and start doing the right thing for the citizens of this fine city and stop signing off on foolish cash-wasting endeavours and every recommendation the city manager brings forth without consulting the taxpayers on issues that clearly affect our everyday well-being and quality of life.