Councillors generous in Port

  • Mar. 10, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Generous Port Clements council members decided to dip into their own pockets Monday night (March 7), after hearing that the local health clinic needed $200 to help buy a TV and DVD player. Clinic nurse Marg Fennell had written to council asking the village to donate towards the equipment, which will be used to show educational materials to patients. She had already raised $300 but needed to find another $200. Council members said they liked the idea of providing audio-visual education at the clinic, but wondered if this was something that village tax dollars should be spent on. “I’d like to see her get the money but I don’t know if it’s up to the taxpayer to foot the bill, unless it’s voluntarily,” said councillor Cam Traplin. After some discussion, the three council members present – Mr. Traplin, acting mayor Wally Cheer and councillor Ian Gould – agreed to supply the $200 by deducting $40 from each of the five council members’ next cheques, rather than taking money from the village budget. Council also decided against spending tax dollars to purchase a supply of lapel pins featuring the village name and logo, at least for now. Port had pins in the past, but ran out about two years ago and hasn’t ordered new ones. Administrator Heather Nelson-Smith told council that tourists often come to the village office asking for pins, that the office has given pins to local students travelling off-island to distribute, and that they can also be given as tokens of appreciation. Ms Nelson-Smith had a quote for 3/4 inch, two-colour pins, with the cost ranging from $424 for 500 pins to $1,500 for 2,500. “Can we afford that sort of frivolous thing at this point?” Mr. Traplin asked. “Is there a better way we could spend $500 than on pins?” Mr. Cheer said it seems the pins do mean a lot to some people, but he wondered about what ultimately happens to them and whether they really bring any benefits to the village. “What I don’t like about the pins is you give them to people and they stick them in a drawer, or on a hat, and what does it mean? Do we benefit from that?” Council decided to wait until the two missing council members return to the table to make a final decision.