Letters to the Editor: April 10

Today's letters include: Thanks, Ice; Vintage firetruck; Wants, needs

Thanks, Ice

Thanks to the Kootenay Ice for providing us with such wonderful playoff games. So sorry for the rest of Cranbrook that you couldn’t be there to see what great entertainment you missed. Also, congratulations to the Ice for the 17th year in a row for making the playoffs. We are ever so grateful to you for representing our great area of the Kootenays. Thanks so much.

If you have never been to a hockey game, come out and see one. Believe me, you’ll get hooked!

Can’t wait for the fall so we can start all over again.

Thanks for another great season!

Carol K. McLean



Vintage firetruck

To:  Mayor Lee Pratt and the members of City Council:

As I was driving by my neighbour’s house the other day, I couldn’t help but notice an old fire truck in his front yard.  I asked myself, “What’s with the fire truck in his front yard? So I had to stop in and ask WHY?  My neighbour’s name is Larry LaPointe.  Larry was a mechanic for the City of Cranbrook for the past 24 years; he also ran the shop as Shop Foreman for a number of years.

Larry recently retired from his job, but, not one to sit around for too long, he volunteered his time and skills to refurbish the Fire Department’s 1929 International Ladder Truck, the one that usually goes in the Sam Steele Days Parade.  Larry, Paul, Cody and Murray were working on this truck at Cranbrook’s Public Works Garage.  Paul, Cody and Murray are three firefighters who are also donating their spare time on this project.

After the team spent almost two weeks working on this project, at the works yard, one of the managers came down and asked Larry to leave and stated, “you’re not allowed to be here anymore.”

Larry is not totally sure why he has been asked to leave.  He believes he still has W.C.B. coverage because he is actually still officially on the payroll until May 25 (collecting holiday pay).  Larry offered to sign a waiver and pay his own insurance premiums if required, to remove the City’s name from any liability issues.

After being stonewalled with red tape and bureaucratic nightmares this project came to a sudden stop so he had the truck towed to his house.

Because this truck is 32 feet long, it won’t fit in his garage, and he has to work on it in the gravel.

I do not understand how anyone has the right to put the run on our volunteers who are such an important part of our community.

In addition, the 1929 Ladder Truck is such an important part of Cranbrook’s history and heritage.  After all, the City bought this truck, brand new, in 1929.

Larry says don’t worry; we will do our best to make sure this truck will be in the Sam Steele Days Parade this year.  I say, Thanks Larry, for volunteering your time, and thanks to the three firefighters who are helping you in this worthy endeavor.  Perhaps, Mr. Pratt and Council, you could get Larry and his team back into the shop where they can do the job right.

Roy Simon



Vintage firetruck

In response to Mr. Simon’s recent letter to the editor regarding the antique 1929 international ladder truck, it is important to recognize that this antique vehicle is the property of the Cranbrook Firefighters Association and not the City of Cranbrook.

The repair and restoration to these vehicles is conducted by the Association on their own time at their expense and is not the responsibility of the City of Cranbrook.  This truck was being restored in a City facility by volunteers associated with the Cranbrook Firefighters Association, many of whom may also be employees of the City of Cranbrook, during regular operating hours of the City facility.  A City employee is able to volunteer as he or she sees fit on their own time, however the City is able to decide who is able to use their facilities and for which purposes keeping in mind the best interests of the community.

It has been identified that there was a safety risk to the volunteers and significant financial risk to the community regarding a lack of prescribed City safeguards and measures relating to these volunteer activities on City premises.  As a result, the use of the facility for volunteer purposes to restore the antique fire trucks will be limited while the City reviews whether or not independent associations will be able to continue to use City facilities for similar purposes with appropriate measures in place to ensure the protection of both volunteers and the community.

The City of Cranbrook appreciates and thanks the Cranbrook Firefighters Association and their associated volunteers for their continued work to restore and maintain these trucks as part of Cranbrook’ s history.

Chris Zettel

Corporate Communications Officer

City of Cranbrook


Wants, Needs

I would like to comment on Mr. Stetski’s letter “Arts and Culture.”

I believe the voters of Cranbrook have spoken. We didn’t support your ideas on how to spend our hard earned money and so we have voted a different Mayor to office.

Like any budget, we all have our “want” and our “need” lists. Unfortunately our roads are in very bad shape, so for me, the roads are at the top of the “need” list. Hopefully in the future we may have money for our “want” list, but not now.

I support Mayor Pratt, and although it’s early in his term, he seems to be delivering what he promised us.

Wendy Revie