Nelson council fails constituents
I am writing over the failure by city councillors to second Deb Kozak’s motion to refer for further discussion the issue of lifting the downtown dog ban on a temporary basis. It was shocking to hear the excuses. They claim one city employee spending 30 minutes per day cleaning dog droppings would cost $10,000 per year? That’s 3.5 hours per week or 182 hours per year: $10,000 divided by 182 is almost $55 per hour. If this is what our works operation manager calculates, it may be evidence of a much larger problem facing the City or was it an overestimation to sway votes?
Another councillor previously voiced a concern over potential liability to the City if a dog bit someone. That seems about as likely as the City being liable for every street fight and drug deal that happens on a City sidewalk or alleyway. If it were a real issue do you think we would be one of the only communities with a downtown dog ban? I thought this was the relaxed and friendly Kootenays — not uptight Toronto. Oh wait, Toronto allows dogs on their streets and even on outside patios. Wow.
I was surprised at the concern from the seniors group. I would have thought if seniors can negotiate all the icy, uncleared sidewalks in Uphill in the winter, they could easily negotiate a few dogs on Baker Street in summer. We do need to consider the seniors, but I think icy sidewalks are a much bigger issue, so why aren’t we looking into enforcing the bylaw to keep your sidewalks free of snow and ice (beyond Baker Street)? If there is a slip and fall on an icy city sidewalk, won’t the City be exposed to liability for failing to enforce their own bylaw?
Apparently 109 out of 124 businesses supported lifting the dog ban on a trial basis; that’s about 88 per cent. Did any of our elected officials get into office with the support of 88 per cent of the community? Regardless, I thought city council was elected to represent the community as a whole, not just the roughly 10 per cent who yell louder than everyone else.
I’m telling my dad not to vote for any of the current council (except Ms. Kozak) at the next election — I’d rather see someone elected who is possessed by the ghost of an earlier mayor, as long as he or she represents the concerns of the majority of the community.
So disillusioned with the democratic process.