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This week's editorial

This week's editorial from senior editor Joan Ritchie.

It’s rather unfortunate that it seems many issues seem to come to light in regards to our streets, etc. here on the prairies in the spring. Winters can be harsh and the permafrost can wreak havoc on our local streets as it un-thaws. Unfortunately, Moose Jaw is getting an extremely bad reputation for the streets – not just from our residents but visitors from all over making comments. We have lived here fourteen years and the roads continue to get worse, not better, even though this is an ongoing problem.  We look like a war-torn city. 

The workload all falls on city maintenance's shoulders and city management, and I am sure it’s always a big pill to swallow when it does. I sympathize with them in that the finger is always pointed their way, but nevertheless, a better solution to dealing with these kinds of maintenance issues like our roads needs to be implemented so that the taxpayer at least feels they are getting something in return for the always increasing city taxes. 

I was quite taken aback by the letter to the editor in this edition regarding the old gentleman who hit a pothole in a puddle with his motorized scooter and could have drown or been run over. He was unable to get up in the deep puddle/mire on his own and  his oxygen tank had fallen off. The older gentleman said the sidewalks are never cleared so he had no choice to drive but on the street. Thank God for the good Samaritan’s who made an effort to help him up and on his way.

I am very familiar with the street and the pothole; we need to dodge around our streets coming and going to work too and it’s a detriment to our vehicles, personal finances, and possibly our lives as reported here.  

It seems the city always has money for show, like sculptures and things that are not necessary but only a ‘nicety’, and all of these things run through the budget almost without a blink of an eye as the bureaucrats think this will bring more tourists and residents to the city.

I think a large majority of city residents and visitors are fed-up with the Band-Aid solutions implemented as a solution. I certainly could point out a few things I have witnessed recently, even on our residential street (regarding the interesting patch-up job done on a bus route with the city vehicle backing over a number of potholes a couple times to pack them down after the fill was put in – and there were a lot). Another complaint by many has been the hole that was on 9th Ave NW at the intersection with Caribou; the street was closed a number of times to redo the same problem over the course of a couple years. Another example has been the paint used to paint the lines on 1st St NW downtown and probably other streets, too. When it’s done, it only takes a few weeks and probably no more than a couple or three months where the lines need to be repainted again and the workers need to get on it again, and the taxpayer fits the bill again. I know I’m not the only one that sees and experiences our notorious streets. 

I sure hope the city bites the bullet and starts to do city street work right the first time so it lasts longer and the taxpayer doesn’t have to pay for the same work to be redone over and over.    

I don’t have all the answers but I can see how much more we pay for taxes, how much less we are getting in services year after year, and where we are today.  This is a growing issue…  

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.  

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