Posted on January 6, 2017
My letter from Mr. X: could we just we all try to keep cool during #snowcrisis, please?
For the record: this perfect storm, the worst run of cold and ice in this city in 30 years, has created unsafe and dangerous conditions city-wide. And despite the heroic efforts of our city staff, it remains too slippery, too icy, too dangerous on many side streets.
We need to do better.
But does that justify the crazy scenes at free salt distribution points? Or the kind of correspondence below from a citizen who signed his name “Michael X?” (For the record, he signed his real name, too, but I’m keeping that private.)
I’ve received plenty of passionate, personal criticism as an elected official — that goes with the territory. But this kind of letter and the scenes on some salt line-ups suggests we need to work harder at working together.
Here’s what Mr. X had to say:
“You guys just don’t get it do you? All you can do is put all the blame back on the Citie’s (sic) residents , with zero accountability for your lack of actions over the Xmas holidays when it comes to clearing public roads, sidewalks and laneways . The only thing we saw on a regular basis was the tracked vehicle clearing the bike paths so as to find your way back to work in January. Then this Jerry Dubrovny (he means Jerry Dobrovolny) guy from the City Engineering Dept has the balls to say that we should all go out and spend thousands of dollars on snow tires. Why doesn’t the City give them out with each bucket of salt?
“Furthermore the City dispatches 50 of their 300 construction workers to do bylaw enforcement work to generate additional revenues from those who don’t clear their sidewalks?
“How can they clear them when they don’t have a shovel or salt available to melt the snow . The empty home tax , increase property taxes should provide enough revenues so you can put some capital to work towards more snow plow equipment and get those 50 workers riding them versus homeowners. But I guess that is too simple of an equation for you to understand .
“Why would you Councillor Meggs even suggest that we ‘ensure that there was a private sector or retail supply of salt for the future.’ You obviously don’t understand how businesses run and to think that any company would have stockpiles of salt available ‘just in case’ ….is absurd and not logical thinking. How dare you ask homeowners and retail stores to step up when you haven’t done anything that is in your domain of responsibility to clear the public roads and sidewalks in a timely fashion?
“Maybe u could recruit all of the homeless people to piss on the ice to melt it away .
“I hope that anyone who falls and hurts themselves will join a class action lawsuit and sue the City and its Councillors and subject you to Bill C 45 rulings of negligence.”
Reality check, Mr. X: your sidewalk is your responsibility and always has been. Likewise the snow tires. You need some salt on hand, just in case.
Yes, the city needs to do its part. Our city staff have been going above and beyond. But all of us have a part to play.