What is the opposite of fun?

Perhaps attending the July 27th Prince George City Council meeting.

It promises to be lengthy with difficult financial decisions to make.

The City of PG claims to be losing about a million bucks per month.

Furthermore, according to a report that will be on the agenda for the meeting on the 27th, initial estimates indicate the City could be facing a budget shortfall of about $9 Million in 2020-21.

The City did not make a lot of friends when they put out an announcement on Tuesday saying, in an effort to reduce costs, they will keep all arenas closed until further notice.

The original plan from a month ago was to open Kin 2 and 3 on August 4th with other rinks to follow.

It only took a few hours after the City went public with its plan to keep the arenas shutdown that Tim Clough launched a petition, which had over 1,000 signatures the first day and has now surpassed 1,500.

“Where are we spending money right now at a time when people need recreation? Could we not make any other adjustments as well so that while we are being told to stay home and basically put our lives on pause, can we have a little bit of recreation to make it more enjoyable,” said Clough.

“We need to have these activities and if we are prioritizing ways to spend money during these deficits I understand that but look at the long-term benefit to the community about having recreation facilities accessible. We don’t just need them for our physical health but for our mental health as well,” added Clough.

The Cariboo Cougars and PG Minor Hockey are in full support of the petition and hope that Council members hear their concerns in support of teenage athletes.

The Prince George Figure Skating Club was caught off-guard with the decision.

“We had anticipated being on the ice this summer and we had a plan into the City since June 1st with how we were going to be able to operate. It’s obviously disappointing but what I am noticing right now is that the fitness level of the kids is in a decline,” said Director of Figure Skating Jennifer Auston.

The Prince George Cougars feel that until September they should not be impacted with CN Centre not re-opening at this time.

The start of the WHL season, pegged for October 2nd, is very much in limbo as this is contingent on approval from the provincial government and local health authorities.

Councillor Garth Frizzell says “The $9-million shortfall, that’s the entire snow-clearing budget. Of course, we are not going to eliminate snow clearing. You can’t do that in a northern city. So, what can you reduce? These are not fun discussions but they are absolutely necessary.”

Nobody enjoys being the bad guy and making the decisions to chop services, especially when it involves youth, but at the same time, politicians are not running a popularity contest.

To date, about 130 seasonal, part-time and full-time City staff positions have been laid off, temporarily laid off, or terminated in order to address costs.

There is a lot more trimming to come.

Everybody is just hoping that it is not their group or organization that has to pay the price.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

Whichever team wins the Stanley Cup it will be the first time in history that no one from that winning team will shout “we couldn’t have done this without our fans!’”

Patti Dawn Swansson (River City Renegade)

Current reports that city Philadelphia will decry that Eagles games will not be able to have fans in attendance. But to give the team a sense of normalcy will they be allowed to pipe in boos?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The PAC 12 joined the Big Ten in scheduling only conference football games this season. The bad news, smaller conferences that had non-league games scheduled with the two is that million-dollar paydays for the road games there are gone. The good news is that so are the 74-0 losses to earn those paydays.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Two teams — FC Dallas and Nashville SC — had to pull out of the MLS is Back Tournament after too many players tested positive for coronavirus. On second thought, just call it the Well, Most of MLS is Back Tournament.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

IN CASE, YOU MISSED IT:

Police in Germany arrested a man suspected of 94 break-ins by identifying his ear prints — yes, ear prints — left on doors. If ever a guy deserved a hearing.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 the Goat radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca