Friday, July 12, 2024

Thoughts on Winter Road Control

Letter to the Editor


I agree with you that “Tinkering With Winter Road Maintenance… Should Be Undertaken with Caution”.

In particular, I note that the experiments being suggested could result in a savings of 3600 hours. You suggest that these savings could be used to employ two additional full-time staff.

On the other hand, the savings could be returned to the tax-payers, resulting in the loss of two full-time staff. Austerity is the politicians’ favourite ploy of late, and I suspect they would rather reduce the tax burden than employ more staff.

They need to remember that unemployment costs. Sure, tax dollars are saved initially, but EI is also paid with tax dollars. And there is a loss of morale in the community. Seeing friends, family or neighbours losing their jobs is disheartening. And it removes circulating cash from the local economy, thereby harming retailers and service providers of all types.

While the benefits appear to be obvious, it is difficult to quantify the costs of laying off staff. I hope the responsible parties will at least try to understand the full effect of reducing staffing levels. Like you, I hope instead they find reason to increase staff levels using the new-found savings.

Jim Brown, Meaford

Editor’s note:  In my editorial I did not suggest that the savings in overtime hours could be used to employ two additional staff members.  Rather, I noted that the 3,600 hours of overtime accumulated each year is nearly the equivalent of two full-time, year-round employees (2,000 hours is a standard work-year based on 40 hours per week.)

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