Operation Red Nose seeking aid in Comox Valley

Over nine nights of service during the Christmas season, Operation Red Nose volunteers provided 196 rides to 446 people. But maintaining the demand for service will not be possible without additional support and sponsorship from the community.

Over nine nights of service during the Christmas season, Operation Red Nose volunteers provided 196 rides to 446 people.  But maintaining the demand for service will not be possible without additional support and sponsorship from the community. Which is why the anti-drinking/driving campaign is again appealing to Comox council — and to Cumberland, Courtenay and the CVRD — for financial assistance. The Comox Firefighters Association and an anonymous donor each contributed $1,000 last year. The money helped purchase safety equipment for ORN volunteers. At Wednesday’s meeting, council approved a Marcia Turner motion to refer the request to the budgetary committee. • • •Council granted the Snow to Surf Society permission to use Marina Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 1 for the finish of its annual multi-sport relay.Post-race festivities will begin at noon. The first team is expected to arrive after 12:30 p.m. Snow to Surf involves nine-person teams that compete in alpine and nordic skiing, running, cycling, kayaking and canoeing from Mt. Washington to the park. According to the society, it is the largest race of its kind in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.For the first time, Snow to Surf will host a 14- to 18-year-old junior category. The event is expected to draw a crowd of about 2,500 people to the park.• • •Mayor Paul Ives will make upwards of $29,000 this year while councillors will earn close to $16,000, if council maintains the current remuneration formula.Council adopted a remuneration and expense bylaw in 2006 that outlined a formula for adjusting council pay in subsequent years. The previous year, council spent about $12,000 to have a market survey completed by an independent consultant. The survey reviewed council remuneration and senior staff compensation. Coun. Russ Arnott said he would be happy to not take an increase, bit Ives said the pay hike reflects a two-per-cent rate of inflation.While he feels the system is good, Coun. Ken Grant suggests it would be ideal to find a way for council to not vote on its wages. “The bylaw formula does seem to work,” Ives said, noting it takes out the guess work. “Nothing’s perfect.”Last year, Courtenay Mayor Greg Phelps earned $46,137 while Courtenay councillors earned close to $20,000. Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek made $30,385, former Parksville mayor Ed Mayne earned $28,300 and Sidney Mayor Larry Cross made $31,774 in 2010.

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