Devil remains in details

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton’s Snow Angels program has proven so popular, the city is having a devil of a time attracting volunteers. Since the program began in 2006, it has skyrocketed in need, with demand outstripping supply.

In 2006 there were 43 volunteers who were matched with 74 clients. Last year there were 89 volunteers available, but 461 eligible clients, leaving 289 people without a volunteer to shovel their walks.

Joe Anne Priel, general manager of emergency and community services said the biggest source of volunteers is youths fulfilling their community service requirement.

Hamilton contracts out the program to Volunteer Hamilton at a cost of $100,000. Almost 80 per cent of the cost goes towards administrative expenses, she said.

Councillors approved a revised motion that extends the program for another year, but still asks staff to investigate the best way to provide the service and how to properly partner with other agencies.

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark, who was prepared to approve the program, questioned what the city is getting for its money. He noted councillors were going to extend the program, while at the same time calling for a review to see how to properly administrate it.

“You can’t have it both ways,” said Mr. Clark. “You are (approving) it without the facts. Why have our staff do the work? An awful lot of our money is spent for not a lot of impact.”

Mountain Councillor Tom Jackson, an ardent supporter of the program, agreed the “bugs” need to be worked out. But he said the program helps seniors and disabled people remove snow from their sidewalks.

“The concept is wonderful,” he said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind in the province.”

Devil remains in details

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton’s Snow Angels program has proven so popular, the city is having a devil of a time attracting volunteers. Since the program began in 2006, it has skyrocketed in need, with demand outstripping supply.

In 2006 there were 43 volunteers who were matched with 74 clients. Last year there were 89 volunteers available, but 461 eligible clients, leaving 289 people without a volunteer to shovel their walks.

Joe Anne Priel, general manager of emergency and community services said the biggest source of volunteers is youths fulfilling their community service requirement.

Hamilton contracts out the program to Volunteer Hamilton at a cost of $100,000. Almost 80 per cent of the cost goes towards administrative expenses, she said.

Councillors approved a revised motion that extends the program for another year, but still asks staff to investigate the best way to provide the service and how to properly partner with other agencies.

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark, who was prepared to approve the program, questioned what the city is getting for its money. He noted councillors were going to extend the program, while at the same time calling for a review to see how to properly administrate it.

“You can’t have it both ways,” said Mr. Clark. “You are (approving) it without the facts. Why have our staff do the work? An awful lot of our money is spent for not a lot of impact.”

Mountain Councillor Tom Jackson, an ardent supporter of the program, agreed the “bugs” need to be worked out. But he said the program helps seniors and disabled people remove snow from their sidewalks.

“The concept is wonderful,” he said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind in the province.”

Devil remains in details

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton’s Snow Angels program has proven so popular, the city is having a devil of a time attracting volunteers. Since the program began in 2006, it has skyrocketed in need, with demand outstripping supply.

In 2006 there were 43 volunteers who were matched with 74 clients. Last year there were 89 volunteers available, but 461 eligible clients, leaving 289 people without a volunteer to shovel their walks.

Joe Anne Priel, general manager of emergency and community services said the biggest source of volunteers is youths fulfilling their community service requirement.

Hamilton contracts out the program to Volunteer Hamilton at a cost of $100,000. Almost 80 per cent of the cost goes towards administrative expenses, she said.

Councillors approved a revised motion that extends the program for another year, but still asks staff to investigate the best way to provide the service and how to properly partner with other agencies.

Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark, who was prepared to approve the program, questioned what the city is getting for its money. He noted councillors were going to extend the program, while at the same time calling for a review to see how to properly administrate it.

“You can’t have it both ways,” said Mr. Clark. “You are (approving) it without the facts. Why have our staff do the work? An awful lot of our money is spent for not a lot of impact.”

Mountain Councillor Tom Jackson, an ardent supporter of the program, agreed the “bugs” need to be worked out. But he said the program helps seniors and disabled people remove snow from their sidewalks.

“The concept is wonderful,” he said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind in the province.”