LETTER – Dressing down by City councillor soured desire to volunteer

The following letter was sent to Mayor and Council:

Good afternoon Mayor Hamer-Jackson,

It’s too bad you went to the trouble of interviewing skilled and knowledgeable people to serve on committees. As it turns out, they are no longer on any committees and you are hoping that they will find it within themselves to volunteer their time, skills and experience to help others make educated decisions on matters.

For me, I spent most of my working life in telecommunications. For the first number of years, I was in SW Ontario and worked in a couple of different places on a variety of systems as well as individual companies, farmers etc. Some of my work was with police forces and I had the opportunity to be a shop leader to install and maintain the radio system for Niagara Regional Police. Although I didn’t accept that posting, I worked on radios for other police forces with our shop in London, Ontario as our centre of operations.

When I moved here in 1985, I worked for a radio shop that had some pretty big contracts. Some were in the public service. Some of my work involved flying to different sites in helicopters as the sites were on mountain top locations. From that one particular shop and through the years working at a different shop, one of the larger customers we had was the City of Kamloops. We did the installation of mobile radios into the City vehicles, service work on those radios, portable radios, base stations and the repeaters used by the various departments. I used to know the City radio layout with a great deal of familiarity.

With a certain amount of pride, I was part of the team which designed and installed the TNRD 911 Fire Dispatch system. I believe that the system was put on line just before the fire season in 2003. The design of the system provided both primary and secondary dispatch methods for redundancy plus there being no single point of failure. That fire season, the new dispatch system was put to the test and it performed as well as we could have ever expected.

When I learned of the difficulty KFR was experiencing with communicating to and from the inside of the new wing at RIH, I had a fairly good understanding of some of the inherent problems trying to use a hand held radio to communicate directly with the dispatcher from inside the new hospital wing.

It was shortly after the election when I contacted one of the members on your council to ask about that situation. As a reply, I was given a thorough dressing down by the particular member of council because during a conversation in Safeway before the election, I had said to him that I could not vote for him. He made sure he made the best of the situation when he had the chance to reply to me.

As a result, Mayor Hamer-Jackson, it means that I shall be devoting volunteer time to other things and in other ways. Nothing of my years of experience and knowledge of telecommunications will be seen by you in any of your committees simply because there are sometimes repercussions from being dressed down by someone in such a way.

To save someone the trouble of forwarding this to the media, I have copied it to a couple of them already.

John Noakes,
Citizen of Westmount

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3 Comments on LETTER – Dressing down by City councillor soured desire to volunteer

  1. The way you described the situation I know the councillor…will email you the name to confirm.

  2. Dave Monsees // March 31, 2023 at 8:39 AM // Reply

    We have ended up with a Mayor with vision and energy, and drive, but also with a council seemingly led by Foghorns off spring. A sorry state of affairs. I hope the Mayor wins, and the rest crawl back into their beaurocratic webs.

  3. Sheila Park // March 31, 2023 at 7:16 AM // Reply

    Dear Mr. Noakes.
    Thank you for your volunteer commitment to the residents of Kamloops. I am sorry you were treated badly by a member of our city council and because of that you feel you do not want to volunteer in any committees.
    Please know that is only one person ( perhaps there were a few others). I have lived here for nearly 50 years and during that time I have volunteered in many different capacities and been “dressed down” by a number of different people of all ages. From K to Mayor. I regret to say in that time I may have “dressed down” a few folks myself.
    However, I still return to volunteer for my community and the residents because the whole community did not “dress me down” just some individual people in it did.
    And if the mayor asked you to sit on a committee that is very nice. But I had no idea he was looking for committee members so of course would not have been able to volunteer if I wanted. So maybe the struggle that happened over committees was worth it in the end because now all of Kamloops citizens may have an opportunity to volunteer should they wish.
    PS to the mayor. Your 9 committee appointees were 8 men and 1 woman. Really????

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