A potential solution to our city's financial problems

nytimes.com/2010/07/20/busin … d.html?hpw

How about we start with selling Citywest?

Why is the city competing (and apparently not doing so well) with much larger phone companies in the mobile market?  Is the city so well off that it can afford to do so?  Any day now I expect the other shoe to drop with Citywest, ie: they’ll once again write off something or other, and the city will be on the hook for it.

Airport ferry service needs to be revamped.

IMO the city buys the two former Albion ferries to replace the old one, then contracts out the operation as a vehicle toll route and public transit for Digby residents. Just like Farwest/First Bus Canada operating transit buses on behalf of BC Transit.

Other than that, I don’t think privatising every public municipal services is the solution to the problem. Actually it shouldn’t be a solution at all.

I always hear people say how much they hate Citywest, and that the city should sell it.  But it’s usually from people who’ve never dealt with Shaw or Telus.  Sure, things are not perfect.  Cell service has some issues.  But I think Bell maintains all the cell towers here now and not citywest (I could be wrong on that), and hence, it is Bell (a larger phone company) issue. I have a Telus Cell, and I occasionally don’t get voice mails, drop outs and some other minor issues. No service is going to be perfect up here because we don’t have the population (aka subscribers), to invest the same amount of money into our systems as, say, the lower mainland.

I know the big cable company’s contract out a lot of their work, so similar to Satellite installs here in Rupert, the quicker the tech gets is done, the more money is in his pocket, and if something breaks and he has to come back, that’s more money for him, so no big incentive to get it right the first time. 

And if you have a problem with your cell phone, (or any of their services for that matter), you can usually get through to a “person” right away, or if not, you can walk the 5 minutes and be in the office (Not and outlet store like Telus)

And remember, if Citywest breaks even, that’s still good for the town.  It good paying jobs (I’m not sure how many) and local service.  If they sell out, there will be a few field guys (maybe) and everything else will be outsourced elsewhere.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a believer of throwing money just to create jobs (I gave up on the mill a long time ago), but I also don’t believe in dumping assets/equity just to make some short term money. 

Sorry for the rant.  Just in that mood.

I have a Bell phone here in the Fort. In mid-March I noticed it blinking with a missed text. There were about 11 messages sent from my son in Vancouver from early January, the last reading “well fuck you for ignoring me, I won’t bother calling again”.
Went into the office in May and my daughter in PG had left a rant on the messages that spanned two calls about not answering her texts and how she was going to duct tape me to a chair until I relearned how to text. Told her I was coming to PG that Sunday, and sure enough we got a text from her dribing there.
Around the end of June the three texts she was calling about showed up.
Texting back and forth from within the Fort is fine. Texting back and forth when my phones in PG works fine.

I think the City of Prince Rupert should also own and run a car dealership (how about a Toyota dealer?) and maybe a grocery store as well. 

All those reasons you give for having the city own a cellular phone company are just as valid for the city owning a car dealership and grocery store too.  Heck, why doesn’t Citywest just set up in the mall where Extra Foods was?  That’s what this city needs in this time of fiscal restraint, to compete in the free market with large corporations.

Maybe Citywest could also run an internet line to Kitimat and buy a building there?  That would be a good use of money, right? 

Another thing the city managers and council should be looking at is the cost of having a full time and professional fire department. I have lived in communities 3 to 4 times the size and population of Prince Rupert that operated very effective and completely safely with strictly volunteer departments that delivered very good services to the communities they served with a fraction of the cost. I have many friends within the department here, however the sad but simple reality is this city no longer requires nor can afford a full time department. And this issue needs to be reviewed and considered by the powers that be.

How about Victoria comes down and looks at the mess they city council have done or doing, throw all of them out , then try and get this city back on the map. The only city council member who speaks with us humble citizens is Nelson, he has to step up to bat and ask some serious questions of Jacko first and then his fellow council members who seem to be in Jacko’s back pocket or are under gag order.

Does anyone know how much of our property taxes goes to funding the RCMP here in PR? I believe its a large portion?

Whatever that may be , it is worth every penny and I do not think it is worthwhile for the city to be sitting back waiting for the Chances to come forward with what they owe,unless they threaten to break Jacko’s legs.

I’m pretty sure citywest already has a building and a internet line going to Kitimat.

I’m just saying that as long as our tax dollars are not going to subsidize citywest, we shouldnt’ be too quick to sell.  Don’t get me wrong, if we didn’t already own citywest, I’m not sure I’d advocate buying it.

Everyone is always talking about shopping local, yet want to export ownership of some of our business’s that we all own.

I know citywest wrote off some debt a while ago, but that just came out of their profits didn’t it?  Not money from council?  Anyone know what citywest netted last year??

I have no problem in the city owning investments, especially if they are getting some return.  You have to realize that anything that citywest does, is as a business, and at the end of the year, the shareholder (the city) get’s the profit.  And as a bonus, the city get’s to use citywest’s bucket truck to hang banners, flowers and what not.

I believe that last couple of councils (not all members) have made a mess of this town.  But we keep voting them in.

I mean if you look at the mill, it would of been better to leave it with the Chinese company than spend the $100, 000 or so a month on running the site.  But then again if you want to go back further in time, there were other company’s looking to buy the site, but with the intention of running other busisness there, but the city wanted someone to open the mill again.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise that that was pulp fiction (Sorry). Whomever made that deal should be shot.

Then there is the cow bay parking.  I’m guessing it will take about 20 years to pay for that parking meter they installed there with the profits from it. Never mind the cost of having bylaw patrol it.

The list goes on and on.


Let’s not forget, the land is still For Sale, right??? To put the meter at the back of the parking lot vs at the entrance is silly.  Poor planning but I suppose senior management has reasons for this, have not figure the logic in that.  :frowning:

Who is going to volunteer? Volunteers in this community are just about dried up!

If you find one, how long do you think they stick around after you invest thousands in dollars to train them?

There are many ‘lifers’ here including myself as well as many others who would come out of the woodwork to participate in and for the continued safety of their families and our little community. Volunteer fire departments work very well in many similar small communities in this country, many of which are larger than Prince Rupert in both population and geographic size. I really wish it wasn’t so, but this is one of the many types of services and ammentities that so many of us have simply taken for granted for so long, but can now no longer afford and given the population decline and subsequent reduced tax base must be reviewed, and down sized at the very least.   

I’m not sure I buy the reduced tax base because of the population decline.
When people leave, they don’t take their property with them.  Someones paying the taxes on their places, whether it’s them, or the bank.

That is unless your a big business that cons the city into giving tax free status cause your going to create a whole pile of jobs.

You say this now but if PR has a Volunteer dept your house insurance will go waaaay up, your house or lil johnny will burn alot faster while it/he waits for the volunteers to arrive (who know’s how long that will be or how much man power will show and who is sober enough to drive or take control of the scene) your not geting paid to risk your life or more.
You say you will volunteer now but when the shit goes down at 4a.m or your at work or at a dinner party for suzie or busy with the family do you really think you will be goin on that call? And from what i hear alot of Volunteer dept’s everyone is a HERO in there mind… lots of freelancing goin on. Dont compare PR to other city’s or towns evey place is run diff.

The PR Fire Dept is alot more than just sitting around and wait for fire’s and looking good: Medical calls, Fire alarms, HAZMAT, Public fire safty, fire inspections of all commercial buildings, Training 24/7 and more im sure…Oh yeah dont forget about the kids…the kids love them, goin to the fire hall for tours and Fire Prevention week SPARKY the dog…do you really want to take that away from them…Unless your goin to do all that on your spare time?

PR does have an auxiliary firefighter system (4 people)working with the Fire Dept and the city is paying them too!! they get paid to train and be on call as well. They have been paying them for 6yrs now and i have not seen them put to use or out in the feild besides training along the fire hall. Maybe the city should be cutting back on them…its kind of a waste of money if they are not being used…right!

Sandimas do you think the City will now move into having their own newspaper too?  :smile: