Column: Joe Morinville

My column got cut from the paper copy last week. The editor says it is because the article was late and he didn’t have room. I think it’s because something I wrote got him in an unnecessary pickle the week before. So this week I thought I’d get him in a real pickle and say what’s on a lot of folks’ minds but nobody’s lips – at least not in public where they think folks will hear them.

1/ I read the Town is investigating ripping up the tennis courts by the public school and moving them over by the skate park. They have $120,000 in the budget to spiffy up the tennis courts this year. That’s a lot of money for a sport you can only play here for a month or two. Sure you can say more people would play tennis if there wasn’t a tree growing in the middle of the court and cobwebs on the nets, but I have never heard anyone having morning coffee at Tim Hortons say “Joe, we need us some tennis courts in this town.”

2/ Seen a fellow made a comment that we ought to have some pickle ball courts instead of tennis courts. I had to look that one up. I thought he was talking about another one of those community gardens people use as their own personal grocery store. Apparently it is a game what combines tennis, badminton and table tennis. Apparently it is a good game for kids and older folks. That might not be a bad idea, but will there be money in the budget for someone to stand around and explain the rules of this new sports sensation no one knows about.

3/ Speaking of budgets – I see Council approved paying themselves $200 a day to attend all day budget meetings and the like. Now I’m not against councillors getting paid a couple hundred bucks a day if it puts their focus on saving me a couple hundred bucks a year on my taxes, but if part of the problem is some of them are attending the meetings and some of them aren’t, I think the editor of this paper needs to be asking who is spending time on our budget each year and who isn’t. Then we can budget them into our ballot or not come the fall.

4/ I was surprised to read that a councillor only gets paid an honorarium of $1,211.93 a month. That’s $302.98 a week. Now I don’t know how many hours they work a week, but even if it’s 20, that’s $15.15 an hour. A guy or a gal could make that selling shoes in a shopping mall and not have to put up with the endless complaints and name calling politicians do. Mind you, I’m told shoe shoppers can be a mean spirited bunch.

5/ A lot of people making a big stink about the Town waving some fines Champion got before they got their stink stack lifted and working last June. A couple of Internet commenters are saying they will now be able to appeal their bylaw fines because the Champion thing sets a precedent. You could always appeal a fine and will always be able to appeal a fine. And while we are talking about fines, it is funny to me how some of the same folks complaining that a local business got their tickets squashed are the same folks think bylaw tickets are nothing but a cash cow. So is it that the tickets got squashed or is it whose tickets got squashed?

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  1. 1/ $120,000 is a sneeze these days. In asking around, there are actually a lot of people who enjoy tennis. But definitely, if getting ‘aggressive’ on school property is the towns way of dealing, they should get off. Oh and take their trees with them.

    2/ Pickle ball-google it. Learn it. Play it. Or not. I mean, why teach our children anything new, right?! But I agree, some more laughable headlines such as, “Morinville Gets A Pickleball Court” or “Morinville is in a Pickle” might not do the town any good.

    3/ Oh my! $200 a day?! Well, just how long is a councillor’s day? Do these days consist of weekends? Sneeze…..Your taxes will NEVER go down by a couple of hundred.

    4/ When getting paid extras (like $200/day) ….I suppose this is alright. Again, what does a day consist of? I think these people chose this on their own. Clearly they like problem solving/contributing.

    5/ I’m all for bylaw tickets. I’m also all for enforcing and following through with them. I’ll complain about the squashed tickets again, and again, and again! The numerous days my family has been denied outside fresh air due to the stench coming from that town is ridiculous. A young child vomiting at the smell, functions ruined, life styles diminished due to one stinky company!!!! Its nothing short of rubbing salt in a wound followed up by a toilet swirly and slap in the face to hear that all the time people spent trying to have Champion pay, was really just a waste of time.

    Perhaps my comment will be cut, but fact is….we are contributing to making these folks accountable and questioning their credibility and honesty, as we should. Or maybe it’s just a waste of time.

  2. Thanks Mr. Mayor for the birthday wishes. Was hoping to spend most of my birthday in a hammock in the sun but it’s too cold outside. If I’d known it was going to be this cold I’d have asked my mother to have me in the summer when we know for sure the snow will be gone.

    Lisa – Your sure seem angry about a lot of stuff! I used to be angry about a lot of stuff when I was a young one to. (I’m assuming your young.) Somewhere along the way (I am 67 today) I learned to focus my anger in a more positive way than I used to.

    As a taxpayer you should come right to council and ask the council members how long their day is if you really want to know. Or phone one of them up and ask them why they are being aggressive with the school property. You could also get on the google and google Morinville and tennis courts and you could read a story right here on why they are THINKING of moving the tennis courts. That’s where I got my info for point 1 up there above.

    I suspect your not really irate about all of my points this week just the one at the end.

    I’ve spun around the sun 67 times as of today and I seen a lot of folk that complain about everything. Many of them folks are just plain nasty and mean in their hearts. Always seems like nothing can please them. They are usually lashing out against everything because there is something eating them that they don’t even know what it is. Or maybe it is one thing they’re wound up like a top about and it just makes them mad as a hatter about everything else.

    Now I’m not saying you are one of those people, but if you got some problems with the town and council you ought to put your thoughts in front of the people that can make those kinds of decisions or deal with your stuff that’s upsetting you so. You’re a taxpayer here in Morinville and it’s your right to speak to them about problems and decisions you don’t like.

    I’m not saying don’t post your comments on my column. Just it may not be the right place to get your problems fixed up.

    I was asked to write a article each week about stuff going on in town and to try and make it funny. I’m not a writer and I sure as hell am not a comedian but I try my best to do a bit of both. I try to get people talking in the coffee shops and restaurants because that’s how we’ve always kind of solved problems and such here. Maybe I’m just an old dinosaur in thinking that way still but people seem to like my articles or so I’m told.

    I’m not trying to dismiss your concerns, particularly the last one, which I think is your real sore spot, but I tell you I don’t like how some of you younger folks today is so negative about every damned thing.

    And I also don’t like how you think I’m saying kids should not learn anything new. Hell, it might be fun to learn pickle ball. I did look it up on the google and I might even give it a try myself if they make it. I’m not saying we ought not to teach young ones new things. I’m just saying I think we ought to investigate the full costs of such a thing.

    Hope you have a happy day or at least a happy hour in your day today. I’m going to think about good stuff until the kids come over and cut my birthday cake.

    You can reply back if you want to and I’m sure the editor will allow you to say what you want, but I’m done with you because I’ve said everything I needed to say about what you had to say. Don’t expect you to take any of my advise. That’s fine. I got to reply back and maybe some of what I wrote will get cut.

  3. I wish there was more dialogue like the above in town. Great column–and a great rebuttal from Lisa.

  4. Joe Morinville,

    Your assumption that I pay Morinville taxes is incorrect but I certainly see where you may have thought so. In fact, Morinville is the town where I choose to support as often as I can by residing near it, shopping in it, using its services, contribute to it through volunteering, etc… I have my own council whom I bring forth any concerns 🙂 Morinville is just close to home.

    Unfortunately my family has been here through the terrible effects that Morinville has allowed to rain on us. When we moved near, we were young and ignorant to what we’d experience in the future. 7 years later, I’m a littler older and wiser! I LOVE where I live and take pride in what my husband and I have done for ourselves. However, I feel that when something affects me it must affect others and to shed light on the issues which stink up my little bubble is a good opportunity. I thank this paper for that. Its columns like yours Joe that get people talking. These conversations are very much constructive, in my opinion.

    The ASSumption that I am young – correct, I’m less than half your age. I value the opinions and advice of those older than myself. I’ve sat bedside to the dying and let me tell you….THOSE are valuable words. So don’t think your words fall on deaf ears. You deserve the respect as much as you deserve your birthday cake. Although I’ve only circled the sun 31 times, I am wise to know that spending my still young, healthy and happy life rubbing shoulders with councillors isn’t going to make me fulfilled. I don’t know it all, I haven’t been there and done that. But I do my best each day to gain the most out of life. It’s experience, be it good or bad, which makes us wise. I have a family to raise and I prefer the enjoyment of them to the inside of a fancy town hall boardroom. Perhaps when I’m retired and need something to occupy my time I’ll donate my hours 🙂 For now I will continue to contact the town with legitimate areas of concerns and leave my comments whenever I have the time. It was me who questioned the town about their emissions regulations/air quality bylaw, to which they dug and dug and dug around for a week and a half to realize “We are really surprised to find that we don’t have any”. So I suppose you can say, I’m content that I have been constructive in a positive manner like so many others have done. Me angry? Nope! I’m too busy creating positives to be angry. I’m much too fortunate for anger. But I’m not silly enough to think things can’t be better. Passionate and realistic…..okay, a little frustrated and firey at times but not angry (its true, your taxes will likely never get lower…isn’t it?).

    Have your cake and eat too! Good day 🙂

  5. Yummy cake I am sure,give your Sweetie a hug she is the one that sleeps next to you Joe! And for all others be happy, for who are you sleeping next to?

    Confusing yes, but the point is care about those around you before you care about the world!

    Wind is blowing from the west so it is a beautiful spring day!

    Taxpayer for over 50 years and loving it!

    Property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.”
    Benjamin Franklin to Robert Morris
    25 Dec. 1783 Writings 9:138 in).

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