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DebraW
18-03-2007, 12:32 PM
City council comedy capers

Sun, March 18, 2007
By Mike Jenkinson, Edmonton Sun

Edmonton's city council is always a source of great comedy - and some of it is even intentional.

Coun. Karen Leibovici, for instance, came up with a great line last week that perfectly summarized the city of Edmonton's approach to clearing our streets in winter: "The bottom line of our snow removal policy is that eventually it will melt," she quipped.

It's funny because it's true.

And it's funny because who among us did not use that line as a child when arguing with mom or dad about why shovelling the sidewalk and driveway was a waste of time? "Aw, but Mom, it'll just melt in the spring!"

Unfortunately, though, that child grew up to be a city of Edmonton politician. And that childhood excuse became the city's de facto snow removal policy. Which is still funny, but also really sad and pathetic.

Coun. Dave Thiele, on the other hand, provided Edmontonians with some unintentional and head-scratching comedy when he suggested that Edmontonians be permitted to not shovel the sidewalks in front of their houses every second year.

Thiele said that residential streets only need one sidewalk cleared, not both. So the city, he suggested, could pile up snow on one side of the street one year and the other side of the street the other year.

That hysterical, gut-busting laughter in the distance (or is that weeping? It's hard to make out) comes from Edmonton's firefighters and EMTs rolling on the floor about the possibility of having their access to potentially half of Edmonton's homes blocked by giant mountains of snow during the winter months.

Not that anyone should ever expect city council to adopt Thiele's wacky plan. But if it were to come to pass, Edmontonians would have to start scheduling their heart attacks and stove fires for those winters when they've got the clean sidewalks.

Thiele's strange idea came up as councillors were batting around ideas to get more Edmontonians to obey the snow-removal bylaw.

Well, maybe if the city didn't take the "but it will melt" approach, more Edmontonians would take snow removal seriously, too.

Because the reality is the city sets a lousy example by not plowing residential streets on a regular basis.

Sure, city council will debate this week boosting the winter plowing budget by $5 million in order to fund one - just one! - full plowing of residential streets in winter after a major storm.

But that still doesn't address the real problem, which is that the city holds private citizens to a higher standard of snow clearing than it does on plowing streets paid for with our tax dollars!

It's called leading by example, and it's time Edmonton started doing it. No, seriously. Stop laughing.

--30--

Rocket252
18-03-2007, 03:57 PM
Do these council members realize how silly they are when they come up with goof ball ideas like that?

I would be embarrassed if I were them.

ThomasH
18-03-2007, 06:14 PM
Don't forget about the Alberta Government's silly idea to allow 12 year olds to work in bars.

Dusty Bear
19-03-2007, 11:31 AM
It's par for the course with Thiele. No surprise there. The only surprise is that people keep electing him.

DebraW
19-03-2007, 11:35 AM
It's par for the course with Thiele. No surprise there. The only surprise is that people keep electing him.

That they do...never underestimate the power of... :?

kcantor
19-03-2007, 02:59 PM
Don't forget about the Alberta Government's silly idea to allow 12 year olds to work in bars.
Now now, I got my first "full-time/part-time" job in a licensed establishment when I was 12. Now the only question is which side of this discussion wants to use that to bolster their case? :)

DebraW
19-03-2007, 03:01 PM
^ Good point...I wonder? :wink: