PORT McNEILL—A delegation of mothers from the Port McNeill Schools Parent Advisory Committee received a much quicker — and more satisfactory — response than they expected from council during its regular meeting Mar. 3.
The six PAC members had previously written council to request installation of bright, school-zone signage at a pair of locations along Haddington Crescent near Sunset Elementary School.
More than one parent had witnessed close calls between rushing vehicles and young students, who travel the area heavily from 8:30-9 a.m. each school day.
“There have been a couple of incidents where kids have come very close to being clipped,” said Jennie-Lynn Noël.
One parent, Tiffany Gervais, even took it upon herself to go out in the mornings as a volunteer crossing guard. But she stopped after speaking to public works foreman Glen Boyd and RCMP Cpl. Carl McIntosh.
“They both told me it’s probably not a good idea, because kids will get accustomed to relying on my being there and stop paying attention,” said Gervais. “But I stand there every morning and see so many near misses. Eventually, it’s going to happen.”
Typically, council will politely listen to delegations but rarely take action in the same meeting. This time, Mayor Gerry Furney assuaged the parents.
“I did take time to ask (Boyd) to check on the area and the requests, item by item, in your letter,” Furney told them. “He said it’s all practical to do, and he will do it.”
Furney noted that, because the new signage would create a statutory change in traffic pattern, the RCMP will need to be consulted first.
“I would think there’s a 99.9 per cent chance of it happening, and it’ll happen as soon as possible.”
“That’s fantastic,” Noël replied to general murmurs of agreement from the rest of her delegation.
Funding on hold
A request by the North Island Early Child Development Society for the Town to sponsor its Mar. 28-29 conference was unanimously declined by council, which cited uncertainty with the “status of our finances.”
“It’s not because I don’t believe in early child development, (but) I couldn’t support making a donation to anybody until we get a handle of where we’re at financially,” said coun. Gaby Wickstrom. Couns. Grant Anderson and Chris Sharpe agreed.
Wickstrom noted council has another meeting scheduled prior to the conference, on Mar. 17, and may learn more about town finances from incoming treasurer Dan Rodin. Council will also be entering into its budget negotiations in the coming weeks.