Leave graveyard markers alone, residents request

Cranbrook City Council says cemetery request is reasonable

At Monday’s regular meeting, Cranbrook City Council received a petition from citizens concerned about the city’s cemetery practice in the winter months.

The petition comes from Mike Graziano and lists 50 names opposed to the removal of crosses and markers in the cemetery over the winter months.

Council moved to refer the petition to administration for review before making any decisions, but some councillors weighed in on the subject.

“In the wintertime they can’t see the grave sites,” said Coun. Denise Pallesen. “They can’t find them while they’re looking for their loved ones. I think it’s just as simple as that. I’m not sure what we can do about it, or if we can do anything without changing the whole bylaw.”

CAO Wayne Staudt said that were council to change things the bylaw would likely have to be amended. The bylaw came into effect in 2009.

Coun. Gerry Warner thought the group’s request was not an issue.

“It sounds eminently reasonable to me as Coun. Pallesen just pointed out, from just being able to find the gravestones,” Warner said. “Obviously gravestones, headstones, the departed – that’s a sensitive issue for everybody. This is a no-brainer.”

Coun. Angus Davis agreed with Coun. Warner.

“It is a sensitive issue,” Davis said. “I think that we have to be considerate of these things.”

Mayor Wayne Stetski agreed, but erred on the side of caution.

“On the face of it, this does seem like it’s a sensible compromise, but we’ll wait until we hear back from them,” Stetski said.