Photo ops standard in government

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Editor: Re: Dieter Remppel’s letter to the editor (RMO Feb. 1/2018) titled, Too many photo ops.

I have known Mr. Remppel for several decades and have the utmost respect for the passion with which he approaches his various conflicts.

As former editor of the Outlook, I can attest to the ubiquity of the grip-and-grin cheque presentations bestowed upon the community by whatever MLA or MP holds the seat, or whatever corporate body has raised money for a good cause.

My position when I held that post was that those photos were static. I would have much rather had an action photo of the money being raised or put to use than the oversized cheque being presented. In the case of government money, though, it’s hard to get that photo as the funds come via grant applications, and a photo of a person writing a grant would be just too tedious.

Different editors have different approaches to acknowledging the largesse that keeps so many non-profit and volunteer-driven organizations alive and thriving.

The previous government and the four PC MLAs who served this community in the years in which I was editor passed out as many cheques, if not more.

That’s the way government works. They collect money from the many and redistribute it to those with needs and wants and worthy projects. They attended just as many cheque-presentation ceremonies as our current MLA, just without the visible acknowledgment in the local paper.

I am not speaking now on behalf of Canadian Rockies Public Schools, as this is a personal letter, but as the current CRPS board chair I can definitely attest to Mr. Westhead’s willingness and promptness to meet, call and address any issues we have. His availability and ability to get us answers, solutions or meetings with higher ups is somewhat unprecedented in my experience as both local editor and board chair.

I, too, have spoken to numerous local citizens who’ve had occasion to enlist him to solve problems or further causes. In his first term in office he’s been pretty amazing in his ability to grasp complex issues and work the halls of bureaucracy to effect solutions. Mr. Remppel’s complaints were but those of one man.

Carol Picard,

Canmore

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Rocky Mountain Outlook