Transit petition presented to Golden Council

Local residents made a presentation to the Town of Golden council in an attempt to save the cancelled transit service.

A petition was resented to the Town of Golden council regarding the cancellation of public transitby area residents Paulette Bertrand and Jim deBolebec.

In total 543 valid signatures were accepted by the Town as part of the petition.

Both Bertrand and deBolebec were given the opportunity to present to the council at the meeting held on July 17.

Bertrand spoke first and explained why she believes the transit is important to the area.

She explained that through Gas Tax payments and other funding she thinks there is ample funding to continue the service.

“The Gas Tax Agreement and community works fund continues to provide an opportunity for you to focus on our community and local priorities. We believe our public transit is a must,”  Bertrand said.

She added that she felt a successful transit system requires input from the community.

“Our interactions with our transit municipality contacts along with our research submissions to you of our letters, documents and other materials, have confirmed the lack of transit promotion for our municipality,” Bertrand said.

She added that requests fell on deaf ears when dealing with the Town on this issue.

“We understand that your jobs can get quite busy and overwhelming at times. However this is a community priority that cannot be pushed aside,” she said.

After Bertrand completed her part of the presentation, deBolebec shared his view on the system being cancelled.

“In regards to the petition I feel the town has failed to provide adequate signage and advertising to support this service,” deBolebec said.

He went on to say that council had been provided with different ideas on how to help the service, but instead the council decided to cancel it rather than work to make the system better.

“Council has flatly refused to work with these individuals,” deBolebec said.

He suggested a slight rise of ticket costs would have helped raise some of the funding the system needed.

“Golden council worked hard at one time to get the service into the community. It is sad to see that subsequent councils, especially this one, have let the ball drop to the point where you have cancelled the service,” he said. “You as a council have failed in your duties.”

Coun.  Chris  Hambruch explained that to be a part of a decision to cancel the service was not an easy one for him due to the fact he was a part of the debate on bringing it here originally.

Mayor Christina Benty explained that she loves the idea of public transit on a philospohical level.

“I think it is incredibly important. Don’t think the decision was made without the awareness that it would have an impact on certain segments of the population. Your job as a community is to lobby for the things that are important to you. Our job is to make decisions and sometimes very difficult decisions,” Benty said.