Jul 04 2007
Re: Ransom picture on page 10, June 21 Rocky Mountain Outlook
One has to wonder just what was on the collective minds of Canmore's town council when they posed for the picture on page 10.
For those who missed it, I will attempt to create a couple of widely divergent word pictures. There was most of the town council in the council chamber, posing around one of the Banff Refreshing squirrel signs, with an accompanying explanation that they were holding it hostage in return for a friendly donation to the Bow Valley SPCA.
Or, to describe it another way, there was the suspected gang of thieves or vandals likely responsible for the recent rash of thefts of squirrel signs actually posing with one of these signs, with the nerve to extort money for its successful return.
Of course, the second word picture is farfetched and hyperbole, however the picture does bring into question the maturity and sound judgement of Canmore's town council.
There has been a recent rash of vandalism as reported by the local papers, and certainly the problems of the disappearance and/or vandalism of the "squirrel" signs have been well publicized. I am sure that the prank was a well-meant attempt at levity and friendly rivalry, and certainly the donation will go to a worthy cause.
However, unless the council was actually given the sign by the Town of Banff, they are in possession of stolen goods and their good natured demand for a ransom is actually extortion, not the sort of impression you would want to broadcast to the world.
This is the sort of prank one would expect from an adolescent student council, not from a council responsible for overseeing a town of approximately 17,000 people and administering a budget of more than $30 million of our money.
Now, we have the school administration to discipline an errant student council, but I wonder who will do the same for our town council? Maybe the concerned voter, come October.