Re: "City eyes Hyde Creek in effort to cut costs," Wednesday, Feb. 20.
Ms. Black has expressed disappointment with planned cuts to staff and hours of operation at PoCo's Hyde Creek Recreation Centre and rightfully so. However, as long as our local politicians and senior management decide it's easier to control their annual budgets with quick-fix solutions rather than address the more difficult systemic issue of ever-increasing wages and benefits beyond reasonable levels for the complexity of the work being performed, we're going to continue to see a reduction in services that we once took for granted. Unless, of course, you're prepared to accept continuing increases in your property taxes beyond the expected increase due to inflation.
Does Ms. Black realize that staff at these reccentres handing out and checking wrist bands (and some of them don't even do much of a job of doing that) are not being paid Walmart wages but are making $20-plus per hour including benefits? So until our city officials get back to joint bargaining and are not being whipsawed with contracts negotiated by labour-supported councils - most recently New Westminster and Vancouver during the last recent round of negotiations - or there is a willingness to seriously consider merging services such as parks and recreation among the Tri-Cities, expect to continue to see a reduction of services, less maintenance of public facilities or increased fees than we received (and appreciated) in the past.
Murray Clare Coquitlam